EA Extends Take-Two Deadline, "Formal Discussions" Will Begin
If this keeps up, it'll be the longest-running business saga in video game history.
Last week, one analyst said we could expect to see some EA/Take-Two news today, and apparently this is it- according to GameSpot, EA has now extended its deadline for its takeover offer a third time. Their proposal to buy out Take-Two at $25.74/share, which expired on Friday, now has a new deadline of June 16. At this point, the "official reason" behind this move is so they can give the Federal Trade Commission time to finish their investigation into the deal. As far as the offer itself, EA's vice president of corporate development Owen Mahoney had this to say:
"EA's offer price remains unchanged at $25.74 per share and our offer is still subject to conditions that include regulatory approval. As stated earlier, we retain the right to terminate the offer if the conditions are not satisfied."
In response to this, Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick reaffirmed what we already knew, but it seems clear many sources were forgetting one major aspect of this saga: Take-Two never wanted to talk about this until after they had released Grand Theft Auto IV. And now that they have, "formal discussions" can begin. Here's Zelnick's comment:
"We said we were willing to begin formal discussions with interested parties on April 30, following the launch of Grand Theft Auto IV, and we have in fact begun that process."
Zelnick also says that EA isn't the only publisher interested in assuming control of Take-Two, although he has yet to name names. And finally, if you're wondering, GTAIV has caused Take-Two shares to rise to over $27/share. However, there has been fluctuation due to stockholders unsure of the company's future. As usual, we'll be bringing you more updates on the EA/Take-Two tug-of-war as they become available.
5/19/2008 Ben Dutka