EA Amends, Extends Take-Two Buyout Offer

Following publisher Take-Two Interactive Software's recommendation that its stockholders deny a hostile takeover attempt by rival publisher Electronic Arts, EA has submitted a slightly amended offer to the company's shareholders.

Take-Two Interactive is the owner of numerous popular properties, such as Grand Theft Auto, Max Payne, and BioShock, and development studios, including the various branches of Rockstar, 2K Boston, 2K Marin, 2K Czech, and 2K Australia.

While the basic premise remains the same--a payout of $26.00 per share--Electronic Arts extended the deadline by a week to reflect Take-Two's week-long delay of its annual stockholder meeting, which is now scheduled for April 17. The offer now expires on April 18, 2008.

According to EA, the offer of $26.00 per share represents a 64% premium over Take-Two's closing stock price on February 15, which was the last trading day before EA sent its revised proposal to Take-Two. As of this writing, Take-Two's stock is valued at $25.55 per share.

The other major shift in EA's offer concerns Take-Two's so-called "poison pill" plan, which adopted on March 24 to prevent a hostile takeover at what Take-Two declared to be an unfair price. Under the plan, any unit of preferred stock sold by company itself will be priced at $42.50 for 180 days, causing an external buyout to be much more costly.

EA's amended offer specifies that the management must either redeem the stock purchase rights or they will be invalidated in the event that EA acquires Take-Two.

As of March 27, EA claimed that about 5,000 of Take-Two's 76.87 million shares had been tendered and not withdrawn from the offer.