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EA extends Take-Two offer

Deadline for megapublisher's take over proposal pushed back until after the Rockstar parent's delayed annual meeting.


The latest twist in what is rapidly becoming a saga was revealed today in the ongoing Electronic Arts attempt to buy Grand Theft Auto IV publisher Take-Two.

Electronic Arts' original offer for the company was $26 a share, for a total of around $2 billion, which was rejected by Take-Two despite being a 64 percent premium over the price of stock at the time.

The Sims publisher's next move was to go hostile and take the offer directly to the shareholders, whom Take-Two asked not to sell up, saying that it believed the offer was "inadequate." Executives also adopted a poison-pill shareholder rights plan which would make any hostile takeover more costly for the acquiring party.

Today, EA responded by extending its tender offer until the end of the day after the meeting, April 18. Furthermore, the publisher amended its offer to make it conditional on Take-Two executives dropping the poison-pill provision in relation to EA.

EA's senior vice president of corporate development, Owen Mahoney, warned that Take-Two's delaying the transaction could "increase the risk for the stockholders." He said, "We continue to believe that our $26 per share offer price is full and fair, and that a transaction between Take-Two and EA is the most compelling combination financially, strategically and operationally for all parties."

EA also reported that as of Thursday, approximately 5,000 Take-Two shares had been tendered, and Associated Press stated that its records showed that on December 14, 74.3 million of the company's shares were outstanding.

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