Two weeks ago, Electronic Arts announced that its bid for Take-Two Interactive was in compliance with the Federal Trade Commission's requests for information. As a result, the megapublisher said it was further delaying the deadline for its $2 billion bid for its rival, which enjoyed the biggest game launch of all time in April, courtesy of Grand Theft Auto IV. EA promised that it would take no action before August 21, six months after it first announced its buyout plan on February 24.
Now, possibly feeling some pressure from the recent formation of Activision Blizzard, EA is moving up its takeover timeline...slightly. This morning, the Redwood City, California-based publisher said its $25.74-per-share offer will expire at 11:59 p.m. EDT on August 18, 2008. Though lower than its initial $26-per-share offer (courtesy of some stock dilution), the price still currently offers shareholders a slight premium, as Take-Two ended trading today at $24.66 on the NASDAQ.
Though still far from certain, EA's attempts to subsume one of its biggest competitors appears to be picking up steam. The publisher reported that, as of 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, July 18, approximately 11,741,339 shares of Take-Two had been tendered in and not withdrawn from the tender offer." According to Marketwatch, that figure represents 15 percent of all outstanding stock in the New York City-based firm--roughly twice the number of shares tendered in June.
As in the past, though, Take-Two executives remain defiant. "In February, Take-Two's board rejected EA's offer as inadequate," said chairman Strauss Zelnick in a statement. "Since then, the record-shattering release of Grand Theft Auto IV, the exciting announcement of a BioShock movie, and our ability to deliver financial results exceeding expectations have further demonstrated that our value-creation potential is greater than EA's offer."
Zelnick also once again dangled the possibility that another company might outbid EA. "We are fully engaged in a formal process to evaluate strategic alternatives that have the potential to deliver greater value than EA's inadequate offer," he said. "As part of this process, we continue to engage in meaningful discussions with multiple parties, a number of whom have been conducting due diligence."