EA's Take-Two takeover bid turns hostile

[UPDATE] The gloves are off and the megapublisher is taking its $26-a-share offer directly to the shareholders; GTAIV publisher tells shareholders to stand fast as it reconsiders offer.

Back in February, Electronic Arts made a $2 billion offer for Take-Two, which Take-Two promptly turned down, stating that it didn't believe it was enough.

"Now, witness the power of this fully operational acquisition fund!" Image: Eattake2.com

Later in the month, Take-Two made it known that EA was not the only suitor it had and also secured severance plans for its employees in the result of being taken over and downsized.

However, by the beginning of this week, some of the company's shareholders were getting restless. Two major stockholders ditched a percentage of their Take-Two stock, and one shareholder filed a lawsuit against the company for not exploring EA's offer.

Everyone's been waiting to see what EA's next move would be: Would the company put a higher offer on the table or attempt a hostile takeover? Today, the megapublisher has decided on the latter, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Electronic Arts has now confirmed that it will be taking its offer directly to the shareholders of the Grand Theft Auto IV and BioShock 2 publisher at the same price it originally gave--$26 a share.

CEO John Riccitiello commented, "We believe Take-Two investors will see our tender offer as the best way to maximize the value of their investment in Take-Two. This tender offer provides a clear process to complete the proposed transaction."

The tender offer is set to expire on April 11. If successful, the acquisition would be the biggest prize in EA's recent buying spree, which saw it subsume such developers as BioWare/Pandemic and Digital Illusions CE last year.

[UPDATE] Several hours after EA's announcement, Take-Two issued a statement urging its shareholders to stand fast. "The board of directors...today recommended that Take-Two stockholders take no action at this time in response to the announcement by Electronic Arts that it has made an unsolicited conditional tender offer to acquire all of Take-Two's outstanding shares of common stock for $26 per share in cash," it said.

However, Take-Two also announced it will give EA's offer a second look. The company said that, "Consistent with its fiduciary duties, and in consultation with its independent financial and legal advisers, Take-Two's Board will review and consider EA's offer, and within 10 business days, will advise Take-Two's stockholders of the Board's position regarding the offer as well as its reasons for that position." Assuming the 10-day period started today, Take-Two's response should arrive by or on Wednesday, March 19.

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Discussion

977 comments
liquid4012
liquid4012

VERS1ON: Yes, it is a monopoly on a segment of the gaming industry. Specifically, football games. People can say "you can always get another non-licensed football game", but how many people ever really do? How many copies of Blitz: The League were actually sold? No one wants a game based on real-life without real-life players and teams. So yes, it is as much a monopoly as as the Sirius/XM merger was. You want an NFL licensed video game, you don't have a choice but to buy EA. You want satellite radio? You don't have a choice but to buy Sirius/XM. You want cable in most areas of the country? You usually have only one choice.

gandalf9303
gandalf9303

EA has ruined so many companys.......

04JETTA
04JETTA

its only a matter of time

swisdwag
swisdwag

EA has a thing with exclusive rights and being the only developer to create certain titles. If they take over T2, all that we know and love (GTA,Bully,etc.) will be over. They won't even remotely push the envelope as Rockstar and T2 did. They will make sure it is family oriented to ensure they get max profits from all consumers.

Edcase
Edcase

jesus if that happens well be having GTA: NFL

TDnD-Mtm121
TDnD-Mtm121

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

kz1den
kz1den

I hate EA with a passion. And hate is such a strong word. Just too bad I couldn't come up with anything stronger. On another note, that "EatTake2.com" insert next to the article is f***ing hilarious. Sad, but hilarious.

MrGordons
MrGordons

Leave Brit....... er...... Take 2 alone!!!

d-DanGerous
d-DanGerous

hahahaha I think that this might of happened because of the NFL license they bought and nobody had a choice but to buy madden..........

NA3D
NA3D

Anyone notice that the pole on the main page is still off from what it intially was? What is going on with this website? Why were there no poles for a little while? Why is EA so evil? haha

Marlins4life
Marlins4life

EA used to make amazing games when there was competition (MVP 05, Madden 04 and Ncaa Football 05), but once the competition was monopolized by EA their games have sucked ass (March Maddnes 06-08, Madden hasn't been up to par and we are now going to feel the punishment of EA taking over GTA, that would suck!

Am3bix
Am3bix

can't wait for the EAboxCubeStation 999 to be released so EA can finally realize that people won't buy a system just for NFL brand games...hopefully..ah who am I kidding, kids will buy anything these days. and that is how EA gained the power to do this crap in the first place. 10 years of trash and you guys keep throwing money at them?

truenextgen
truenextgen

Well if both versions of GTA4 are just unreal good. Theirs hope. But they have to hold till then. Oh and PS the poll is hacked or something. But it wont be the first bent poll on gamespot lol. This one just majorly more bent than others.

Steakface
Steakface

I am proud to say that I dont have a SINGLE EA game installed on my computer right now, and I will try my best to keep it that way. I find myself asking this question a lot - arent monopolies supposed to be illegal?

teron678
teron678

NA3D Is it me or did EA hack GS then modify and freeze the poll? ............ SEEMS SO .....................LOL

Bevinsky
Bevinsky

Thanatos2, the only reason EA has those games in their roster is because they've bought the studios that make them! They tell them "make a great game", and then force them to crank out crappy sequels and spinoffs! LOTR: Remainder of Westwood. C&C3: Remainder of Westwood. BF2: Dice. BF2142: Dice. Crysis: Crytek. All of these except Crysis are developed by studios that EA bought. They don't come up with their own IP's, they just buy others'. Westwood doesn't even exist anymore.

nathanisthegod
nathanisthegod

robinsnestkc, you are right, for EA, it IS about the consumer..Never have I heard about EA even polling the public about what it wants in a game, I have, myself, communicated in many polls and irc chats about gta and other TT games. Both the polls and chats were a mixture of ones hosted or posted by TT/rockstar and by fans, and the ones by fans, one or two accually got a response from the company..one of those was about the aiming feature in gta and the soundtrack in one of they're racing games i forget..tell me if EA ever asked YOU what you wanted, and accually put it in! Rockstar may be about profit to earn a living and progress, but thats natural, but they give a damn about us gamers, because EA has so much money they're heads up their asses, and TT, rockstar and many other companies care..maybe in a small way, but most of their games aren't the same every year..NFL2K series ring a bell? FLAMERS ABOUND FOR THE SPELLING AND PUNCTUATION I'M AT WORK ON BREAK SO FLAME ON AT LEAST I LIVE WITH MY WIFE AND NOT IN MAMA'S BASEMENT!

NA3D
NA3D

Is it me or did EA hack GS then modify and freeze the poll?

rg420
rg420

EA needs to concentrate more on making hit titles instead of buying them.

thepunisher_kpb
thepunisher_kpb

that's ok to me cuz EA is a great company nd it got so many awesome games so i guess it's better for GTA IV to be taken by EA

j_n_16
j_n_16

If this take over is successful, does that mean that MVP baseball will once again be made for the MLB level? Or is it simply another asset for the owners of EA to make money off of? I'm so sick of being forced to buy MLB 2K, or no baseball game at all!

j_n_16
j_n_16

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

LeviHarris
LeviHarris

That's such a dirty move. EA can s*** my b****. Do the Take-Two shareholders realize how much the stock is going to soar when GTAIV is released? There's not a man or child who isn't buying that game or begging their parents to let them play. Suits are so effing stupid. Think about this. I live in L.A. and the property value skyrocketed and people spent frivolously only to discover that (gasp) Property values were dropping and their 4 million dollar home is now only worth 2 million! Oh no, time to sell and buy a more lavish mansion that won't decrease, right? Wrong. If those idiots would have held onto their investment, in five to ten years it would be worth triple. These things happen. Land NEVER decreases in value (unless there's a horrible chemical spill or zombie attack. Personally, I would think the value would increase from a walking dead infestation...but that's just me) and I doubt the team that has the rights to the biggest franchise in recent history will either.

GenTaylor84
GenTaylor84

EA was a cool company back 10 years ago but now since they become the big fat cat corporation i think they are lame and just pump out lame games just to make some cash .... all the Hollywood movie video games... but now i think they are just trying to raise their stock for their investors, so they will buy up all the video game companies they can, and really dont care what happens to these great classic games. but i think the sad thing is that none of these companies investors care about these games they just want money from them. but i think these games change the world =P

motionxsickness
motionxsickness

marx got his ideas from an evolutionary biologist -_- but every economic ideal has had its downsides.

motionxsickness
motionxsickness

marx got his ideas from an evolutionary biologist -_- but every economic ideal has had its downsides.

Silicon_Noob
Silicon_Noob

I'm pretty sure this is what Marx meant by capitolism consuming itself.

motionxsickness
motionxsickness

to robinsnestkc: monopolys STIFLE innovation. yes, for corporations it is about the profit motive, but the more companies out there (even as big as they are) the more variation in innovation we will see. do we want the same cookie cutter sports games EA pumps out every year (high profile music, urban/street themed counterpart, no change in game play from the last year). HELL NO. let some other big name company try and suck at it for a change! it's REDICULOUS. in the end, it may all just be for money, without creative consideration for the customers, but nonetheless, we need to protect purity in franchise games and stimulate innovation by keeping the idea of monoply's far from our vidja games.

dead888
dead888

I wont be buying GTA IV if i see the EA logo on its box !

themidgethotel
themidgethotel

Take Two is pretty much the last stand against EA. cuz next up, EActivision. And that's just a torrid monopoly. The shareholders have to know that this is going to be a terrible occurance in the game industry if EA becomes the only 3rd PP in existance, thus negating any opportunities for investments in upstart game producers in the long run since EA will control everything. It almost already does, really!

catach
catach

LEAVE GTA ALONE!!!!!!!! Don't ever mess on this game, the last true game...

timhen
timhen

One word. Monopoly! EA is trying to monopolize the gamming industry

robinsnestkc
robinsnestkc

Can any of you EA haters answer a question for me. If EA makes so many crappy games why do they have enough money to purchase take two. Do you know were their money comes from? Us, the consumer. Half of you are saying I hate EA and I have never bought EA and I never will. If that is the case how do you know it their games are horrible. And for those of you who keep buying games that suck you are stupid. You all need to stop crying about things you have no control over. IT IS ABOUT THE MONEY. Not the customer.

Omegaman007
Omegaman007

Now the gamers see who the companies really cater to. Stop buying the games and buy their stock if you want a say kids!

xvwvx
xvwvx

I dislike EA's business tactics. They're taking out the competition by buying them. That's bad for us gamers. I don't understand why some people want this to happen. Less competition = less quality in the games. Look what happened with the NFL games. 2K sports had the best football games, EA bought the rights, and now NFL games suck. There's no competition. I can't understand why you people don't realize this.

denolitions
denolitions

this is getting out of hand, i hope EA stop doing this after the take-two thing is over

nickelarcade
nickelarcade

i dont care personally as long as gta goes the burnout route dev wise, just recently paradise "copied" gtas open worldedness. who cares, it is new to the genre. and to those who say srs street racing syndicate did it first. that game was lame anyway.

Devvy01
Devvy01

this was never going to be pretty

zhuge_liang_
zhuge_liang_

GTA V will be borify by EA. If they are taking over Take Two, then I hate them! Hope they DON'T borify the Civilization series which is a trademark of success in Take Two. I hope all of the smaller game conpanies unite to stand against EA. They're so corrupt. Like Paypal! I had lost some 500 dollars because paypal freeze my account for no reason whatsoever. I haven't even had a single transaction. Curse those Two!!! I'm way off topic, right? 3 words to all of you: "I HATE EA".

sun_spirit
sun_spirit

Back in the days of Future Cop LAPD, EA were great. But nowadays it's like they are just strying to upset us gamers, I mean, how many times have they re-used the same ideas....

DarkGhost89
DarkGhost89

Stand Fast! GTA IV is comming, that will poison pill them, just hold on...

simon1978
simon1978

I don't like EA as much as the next man, They have a nasty habit of screwing things up. Plus they are the only company that I can think of off the top of my head that region lock there games, and that just makes me mad I think region Locks should be made illegal cos its immoral. Why should I buy a game twice just because I moved to another part of the world. I had to pay through the nose for a Pal version of C&C 3 :)

Cesb02
Cesb02

I dont like EA, and i dont want them to continue gobbling up the competition because it does not want to "compete for customers". This would take the fun out of what is left of the "free market" in sports.

santiagochile
santiagochile

Good, maybe we can get some decent games for the Wii, like Midnight Club and GTA. All we see now from Rockstar are crappy, cheap ports of PS2 games.