EA extends Take-Two offer again

Megapublisher pushes back deadline for Rockstar parent's shareholders to June 16.


Grand Theft Auto IV

In Take-Twenty of the saga in which Electronic Arts is attempting a buyout of Take-Two, the Sims publisher has extended the deadline for its tender offer a third time. It is the second time EA is offering a price of $25.74 a share; on April 18, it pushed the deadline to May 16, but dropped the share price from $26. This came after Take-Two executives approved a "poison pill" measure which would dilute the stock in event of an attempted takeover.

The official reason given for the extension is so that the Federal Trade Commission can complete its investigation into the deal. EA's senior vice president of corporate development, Owen Mahoney, commented, "EA's offer price remains unchanged at $25.74 per share and our offer is still subject to conditions that include regulatory approval. As stated earlier, we retain the right to terminate the offer if the conditions are not satisfied."

Take-Two was quick to issue a statement following the announcement, advising stockholders once more not to sell their shares. Chairman Strauss Zelnick said, "We said we were willing to begin formal discussions with interested parties on April 30, following the launch of Grand Theft Auto IV, and we have in fact begun that process." Zelnick did not name names, although he has stated before that EA was not the only suitor wooing Take-Two.

EA so far has 6,210,261 of Take-Two's outstanding shares as of May 16, only around 8 percent of the total. Since the launch of its flagship game GTAIV, Take-Two shares have been fluctuating, rising to $26.63 on the day of the game's release, dropping to $25.74, and closing on Friday at $27.10.

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