EA And Take-Two Come Together In Management Presentation?
Isn't it about time for another EA/Take-Two update? Yes, yes it is.
As Ripten reports, Take-Two clearly wants more money out of EA, whose offer of $25.74/share needs to be updated to reflect the gargantuan impact Grand Theft Auto IV has had. But the companies are clearly willing to work through their differences, as two e-mails passed between EA CEO John Riccitiello and Take-Two chairman and president Strauss Zelnick prove the two could be talking very soon. But perhaps first and foremost, Riccitiello said in his message that they "don't believe we can integrate Take-Two ahead of the important holiday season." For now, the next stage would be for EA to sit in on a Take-Two management presentation, and that appears to be the plan. Here's part of Zelnick's e-mail:
"As I mentioned when we spoke on Friday, our process begins with an in-depth management presentation. The Company has made significant strides since EA first expressed interest in the Company and this presentation includes material non-public information to which you would not otherwise have access, including information relating to our three year product release schedule and management’s financial projections.
The presentation also includes information about the underlying factors that have driven our strong operational and financial performance. I believe our presentation will enable you to understand better the value of our Company to EA. Prior to the management presentation, we will only require EA to enter into a confidentiality agreement...
...We understand that a number of months have passed since you first expressed interest in the Company and, accordingly, we will act quickly to assist you in moving through our process. Once we execute a confidentiality agreement, we are prepared to schedule the management presentation immediately."
Obviously, it's not like these two companies hate each other, despite the "hostile takeover" terminology. It won't be long before EA signs that confidentiality agreement, and EA sits down with Take-Two to view the management presentation. From there...well, maybe the future is inevitable.
8/18/2008 Ben Dutka