GTA parent publisher to buy out billionaire's stake for $203.5 million

Take-Two Interactive expecting to complete the purchase of 12.02 million shares at $16.93 each from Icahn Group later today.

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Image Credit: MICHAEL NAGLE/GETTY IMAGES

Grand Theft Auto parent publisher Take-Two Interactive is in the process of buying back $203.5 million worth of stock from billionaire Carl Icahn, bringing to an end his involvement with the company.

Take-Two's plan is to purchase all of the Icahn Group's stock, 12.02 million shares, at yesterday's closing price of $16.93 per share. The deal is expected to close today.

As part of a past agreement between the Icahn Group and Take-Two, it was decided that if the Icahn Group sold its position in the publisher, its board members would resign.

With the share buyback expected to close today, board members Brett Icahn, Jim Nelson, and SungHwan Cho have stepped down from the board, leaving five members.

"On behalf of our board and management team, I would like to thank Brett, James, and Sung for their support, dedication, and service to our organization," Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said in a statement. "They leave Take-Two better positioned than ever for continued success.”

As a result of the three departures, the remaining board members--Zelnick, Michael Sheresky, J. Moses, Robert Bowman, and Michael Dornemann--will revisit the size and composition of the board, as well as its committees

Activist investor Icahn, 77, purchased 11 percent of Take-Two shares in December 2009. Investors are not responding positively to the share buyback today, as Take-Two shares are trading down close to 4.5 percent at press time.

Icahn's departure from Take-Two comes just months after the record-setting release of Grand Theft Auto V, which generated $1 billion in three days. The game has shipped more than 29 million copies to date.

Discussion

15 comments
tightwad34
tightwad34

I find it ironic and kind of funny that the are talking about the real world stock market in terms of shares largely increased as a result of GTAV.

berserker66666
berserker66666

Look at that dude's nose hair popping out lol. And you'd think a billionaire could afford a trimmer.

plaintomato
plaintomato

That means he thinks the big gains from GTAV are over and done and a bet on TTWO's next big hit is a long way off, buried under years of future development costs. Also, he's worried that Lester is going to take out a hit on him.

Seriously though, I'd guess the GTAO profits so far have been less than expected, because even though he made good money on that deal because of his 2009 buy, he bought another $80M of shares in late 2012 and probably lost a couple bucks per share on those. Guys like Icahn do their research and if he's selling any portion of his shares at a loss, expectations weren't met.

bottaboomstick
bottaboomstick

77 years old...imagine trying to work with that guy in regards to GTA. "Mr.Ichan, so here is the strip club...tip them enough and they will take you home"

Kiaininja
Kiaininja

Wow, a stake for $203.5 million. That beef must really really taste delicious. Mmmmm, mouth watery medium rare stake.

atlanticmoon
atlanticmoon

Wow, stepping it up and getting images off Getty.

RicanV
RicanV moderator

@bottaboomstick He is a billionaire I'm sure he probably had strippers in his kitchen.

fanirama
fanirama

@gamerno66666 Difference is - at 77 years old you'll likely be just having nose hair. At 77 years old, he is a BILLIONAIRE with nose hair. 

plaintomato
plaintomato

@pongley @plaintomato So saying it's GTAO might be pushing it, but maybe not. Something didn't measure up, and that something couldn't have been GTAV sales revenue. GTAO is the part of the package that could have been an industry changer if it had measured up to the hype.