Analysts ponder Ubisoft, Take-Two union

As the standoff in Electronic Arts' proposed takeover of the Grand Theft Auto IV publisher continues, <em>Forbes</em> suggests the French publisher might consider a merger.

At the beginning of June, Electronic Arts announced that it would be extending its $2 billion offer for Take-Two Interactive for a third time. Take-Two executives have made their feelings clear by repeatedly advising shareholders to not sell their stock, as they believed the time and price weren't right.

The impasse continues. On one hand, Electronic Arts has a total of $3.3 billion to throw around, having recently secured the promise of a $1 billion loan for any extra costs relating to the takeover of Take-Two. On the other, Take-Two recently reported sales of over 8.5 million units of Grand Theft Auto IV, and its stock today was trading upward of $27--over $1.25 above EA's $25.74 per share offer.

After the original shock offer for the Rockstar parent was made by EA, Take-Two responded by stating that the megapublisher was not its sole corporate suitor. No firms were named, but analysts have been speculating to Forbes as to which companies could be in the frame.

Both Activision and Ubisoft were identified by various analysts in the article as potential buyers or partners. The names were floated despite the fact that in February the Assassin's Creed publisher stated it wasn't interested in big acquisitions, and Activision said it had previously considered Take-Two but decided it wouldn't be a desirable business combination.

"Ubisoft has grown phenomenally over the past few years," Signal Hill analyst Todd Greenwald told Forbes. "But the only way for them to continue to grow is to enter categories that they aren't in."

Cowen and Co. analyst Doug Creutz added, "Ubisoft has shown they do a good job of managing original intellectual property. Culturally, Take-Two developers would not have a problem at Ubisoft because they allow a decent degree of creative freedom."

Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter said he also believes that the two companies are a good fit for each other.

According to Forbes, Ubisoft doesn't have the cash on hand to buy Take-Two outright at the current EA bid price. A merger could be possible, although Electronic Arts itself has owned some 20 percent of Ubisoft since 2004.

When contacted by GameSpot, Ubisoft representatives would only say "We do not comment on rumors or speculation." As of press time, Take-Two representatives had not returned requests for comment.

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Discussion

106 comments
T-_-K
T-_-K

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DevilD2005
DevilD2005

I would find this interesting to see what they can do together. Both flagship good products.

mattg90520
mattg90520

i wouldnt mind this. lately ubisoft has had amazing showings of their games. the same cannot be said of EA. if take-two is going to become partners or be bought out, i would MUCH rather it be by ubi than ea

nick0091
nick0091

This is good news if it is true, maybe ubisoft and take two will band together to fight the evil empire that is EA. Heck that could be there next AAA game who knows. =)

PrinceFX
PrinceFX

screw EA... they dont deserve to own an awesome company like take two although id love to see ubisoft manage it....

lil_d_mack_314
lil_d_mack_314

seriously? will EA not rest until they own the whole industry? i guess if they do succeed, then they will be able to release there own console :/

frogman666
frogman666

did you know that EA is ran by Pinky & The Brain....Its true they are taking over the world

phalluman
phalluman

wow, who knew everyone who comments on gamespot articles were market analysts

ObiKKa
ObiKKa

Well, well. They could certainly merge, but still EA does own about 15% (It was originally 20%, but then reduced to almost 15% last year, or so, due to Assassin's Creed selling so many units as well as other games from Ubisoft selling well. (Very poor lack of news reporting, Gamespot, haha). So, if T2 & Ubisoft were to merge together, then it would create an even BIGGER company, as well as a bigger target for EA to take over if they were to have that kind of money... Think about it...

subzero2010
subzero2010

By GameSpot, Ubisoft "We do not comment on rumors or speculation." Cowen and Co. analyst Doug Creutz added, "Ubisoft has shown they do a good job of managing original intellectual property. Culturally" Ubisoft - You are the best games company in the world, no nothing,No Hurt you or anything competitive, even if EA.... Ubisoft - My Lovely Company Forever - The Best Will Come Soon :)

FatChan101
FatChan101

If Activision were to take over (though it seems doubtful) that would be a serious kick in the teeth for EA since Activision/Blizzard being the biggest games company is the reason for EA's scramble to buy all they can, just to reclaim their 'deserved' top spot. An Ubisoft takeover though would still be great. But to be fair ANYONE is better than EA!!!!

brosim1104
brosim1104

UbiTtwo, ha? Sounds great to me... At least lot lot better than EA 2!!!

normsta
normsta

that would be interresting. to bad i don't like ubi execpt for assasin's creed.

digimrm2004
digimrm2004

Smaller companies should merge or unite to fight back monopoly companies such as EA.

zunit88
zunit88

common EA cut this fool playing off !!!!

cdc57901
cdc57901

ubi's games either absolutly blow or are realy good i dont know if this would help or hurt take two

cdc57901
cdc57901

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

rl_41
rl_41

This would be a cool merge, Ubisoft and Take-Two. Both have a solid resume

LordReithgar
LordReithgar

EA can't buy Ubisoft, because it is currently too big for them. Otherwise they would have had already bought it sicne they seem to havei nterest in the company. This would be even more true if T2 and Ubisoft would merge, their value would rise considerably out of reach of EA. It's nto surprising though that EA has shares in Ubisoft. It's a "mean" to make money from others. Just like it wouldn,t be usprising to hear that Sony had shares in Microsoft and vice-versa.

BigSmitts07
BigSmitts07

well..it doesnt look like take 2 is going t get away without going to someone..id rather it be ubi or activision then ea any day...

sonicare
sonicare

Ubisoft is quickly becoming the French version of EA. I'd rather see take-two stay separate from both of those companies.

football_legend
football_legend

Merging will be great. I cant wait to see a GTA in collaboration of Rockstar North and Ubisoft Montreal, two of my fav developers.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

It is my opinion that either Sony or Microsoft should be trying to pick up Take-Two. That would assure that all of their IPs go directly to one platform (in Microsoft's case 2 platforms - PC & XB360). I wonder if either company has even considered or approached T2 about a buyout? If I was at Sony or Microsoft, I would at least be looking into a purchase of Rockstar.

micksy
micksy

DragFire I don't think EA has many fans amongst the visitors on the site, you ask why they're making money? Because the console environment is dominated by parents buying games for their kids neither of which would know a decent game if they saw it. EA just buys film contracts i.e. LOTR and spawns games, then parents walk into supermarkets see the film name on a case presume it will be good and buy it. On one hand it may be a clever tactic but how any developer at EA has any self respect I don't know, every game is identical but with different characters or updated menus. BTW I agree with you about C&C after Red alert 2 (inc. Yuri: One of the best games ever made) the series went backwards, Generals was awful that FPS was so crappy I forgotten it's Name, only now has tiberium wars finally started to catch up to RE2 but it has a long way to go.

mrkame16
mrkame16

@ DragFire24 " I Agree" EA is The Dragon that needs to be slayed.

DragFire24
DragFire24

From what I read on many comments, nobody wants EA to buy T2... (I am one of them). So, do you like EA? hopefully, for this to make sense you say "NO"... Then how EA makes this lot of money? because you buy their crappy games. If you don't want them to take over, you don't need to comment here and say you hate them only, you have to stop buying their sh**ty games! Personally I don't like EA because they buy other companies and destroy them. Like Command and Conquer game. Their games are made all the same way; quickly made, few interesting things, 0 in originality. I would like to see a merge between Ubisoft and T2. Ubisoft have a much better reputation for us gamers.

themovi3nut
themovi3nut

I would prefer an Ubisoft merger over an EA buyout any day, personnally and I think an Activision merger would be better than EA's aswell

knux15
knux15

"Ubisoft has shown they do a good job of managing original intellectual property..." Funniest line in the entire damn thing, lets look at Farcry (made by Crytek) is apparently an original IP to them though in the original license it was Crytek being the main producer and designer. Now let look at something say Rayman, originally an Indie title that was picked up by Ubisoft is also considered an original IP though the only reason this is true is because the designers couldn't afford the Registered Copyright on it. From what I've seen the only original IP they actually do have active is Assassains Creed which is planned for a 3 game run and, well, as we all know isn't long enough to be considered a proftiable IP... They would have to replan it to atleast 5 games for it to be worth calling the quote true...

Autolycus
Autolycus

again, its just analyst's trying to toot their "I'm special" horn when they clearly arent. Its all just opinion of someone that makes it sound better because they've made people money in the past. That doesnt mean they are right or wrong... its just an opinion...like i think dogs are telepathic... doesnt mean its true

Autolycus
Autolycus

Ubisoft makes good games, not hard to figure out why they've grown. EA makes crummy games but purchases most the competition, not hard to figure out why they've grown. The problem with EA is they are eventually going to run out of companies to acquire. They are already the unwanted child of the video game scene.

Smoothy08
Smoothy08

If Ubisoft and Take Two merge that would be in the best intrests for everybody. They could produce some amazing games without the interference of EA. However EA does already own 20% of Ubisoft. Question: If Take Two and ubisoft do join in a merger wont EA just end up buying them both or would it be too expensive to purchase them both?

LindBergh2007
LindBergh2007

So due to many 3rd party developers closing shop, rising development prices and facing prospects of selling off thier stock they want to start a trend of mergers together rather then offer their companies for sale to Japanese publishers like SEGA and Capcom? I'm sorry to say this, but I highly doubt this will happen noir will this save these companies from bankruptcy in a software market facing collapse because games are getting far too expensive to develop, while there are many options on the table, while this certianly seems like a good idea, it would actaully drive these companies into the ground because it's always a bad idae to merge two small companies together especially in a bad economy where the lowering value of the U.S. dollar is hurting more companies. My suggestion? For Take 2 to consider a SEGA buyout and for Ubisoft to consider a Capcom buyout. Trust me, sending these companies into the hands of Japanese publishers would help them breakthrough the foreign market which is alot more sensible then merging together in a poor ecomony. Go ahead everyone, paint a rosy picture of the state of software market, every week I see the signs of a 3rd party market obviously in perial yet everyone wants to pretend it's all hunky dory. When the fact of the matter is pretty clear: THAT the Video Game Industry is NOT recession proof and that this ecomony is indeed affecting it. So don't say we told you so if these companies face bankrupcy and if the market crashes.

acsam12304
acsam12304

Dang EA has there hands on everything to do with video games. I didnt know EA owns 20% of Ubisoft. Oh well.. I am starting to hate EA a little cuase they want own everything and will go out all the way to get it. whats next EA want to own VAVLe cause of STEAM and teh Source games they make?

cooldude03
cooldude03

Doesn't EA already own a good chunk of Ubisoft. So a merger between Ubisoft and Take-Two would still benifit EA's best interest. I would prefer Take-Two merge with Ubisoft instead of EA buying them out.

gun_blade25
gun_blade25

Take-two can't do its own thing since it isn't profitable. A merger with Ubisoft would be awesome only in that it would prevent them from being bought by EA. If they do want to survive on their own they need to cut away all the excess baggage thats holding them back. For one thing, their sports franchise needs to die. They need to focus on building new IP and milking (humanely) the stuff thats worked for them in the past like Bioshock and GTA.

nfsmaster
nfsmaster

Hmm. GTA series with the Driver series...I wonder how that would turn out.

combatsoldier
combatsoldier

this is all just rumors and speculation to get hype up for something. i dont see this happening and if it does, i just hope it is truly for the best of both companies.

speed45823
speed45823

if the next gta comes under ea, i aint ****ing buying it.

Gamingcucumber
Gamingcucumber

Am I the only one who thinks that Take-Two should do their own thing?

barJerubsheol
barJerubsheol

I don't see it happening. Ubisoft has class. I don't think they would buy them up if they had the money. As for the merger...I doubt it. Sounds like Forbes is bored and trying to come up with stuff to show their readers that they are still paying attention to what's going on with the Take2-Ea saga.

drangel_jam
drangel_jam

I'd rather see Ubi&T2 than T2 & EA. But I don't Take Two should sellout or merger. They need to focus on making great games, especially 2k sports annual titles. They should try to invest more on sports games because they haven't been evolving much, this the average sells.

skyline7284
skyline7284

Just end the stupid thing and move on already.... I want to get along with my life

Kazona
Kazona

Can you imagine if Ubisoft and TakeTwo merge, and then EA comes in and does a hostile takeover on Ubisoft? That would be a big case of 'owned' One I hope doesn't happen btw lol. Ubi + TakeTwo, yes. But EA? No!

the_greenzero
the_greenzero

Ubisoft's a well respected company, if they do merge or whatever I believe they'll do a good job.

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

Huh. I've never heard of the French taking over something. Usually it's the other way around. (j/k, mostly ^_^)

doomdiver_16
doomdiver_16

I don't see a take2 buyout from EA to damage our chances of getting a decent GTA type game much. The Housers won't get job satisfaction with EA. They will probably leave along with some more devoted employees and start a new development studio making a GTA styled game only under a different name and company. Either that or they'll be swayed by the money. But it would be better for take2 to stay independent or, it it comes to a buyout Ubi, Activision or Sony may be best since they seem to give their devs more room to breath.

somberfox
somberfox

Well, I could live with a Ubisoft merger, Ubisoft, unlike EA, doesn't destroy every property it touches. In fact they have published quite a lot of great games, like Beyond Good & Evil, the Prince of Persia trilogy, and the Splinter Cell series.