EA Extends Take-Two Buyout Offer Again

By Chris Faylor, May 19, 2008 7:20am PDT Mega-publisher Electronic Arts has once again extended the deadline for its hostile takeover bid of rival publisher Take-Two Interactive Software, giving Take-Two shareholders until June 16 to consider EA's $25.74 per share offer.

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

EA first made the unsolicited $2 billion offer to buy Take-Two in late February. After it was rejected by Take-Two's board of directors, EA made the same offer to the company's shareholders in an attempt at a hostile takeover.

As of May 16, EA claimed that 6.21 million of Take-Two's 76.87 million shares, roughly 8%, had been tendered and not withdrawn from the offer. Today's extension marks the third time EA has pushed back the deadline for Take-Two shareholders, with the offer previously set to expire last Friday, May 16.

Earlier this month, EA secured $1 billion in financing for a possible purchase of the company should it acquire Take-Two by January 9, 2009.

Take-Two's board of directors has clearly stated its intent to remain independent, though it is open to discussing possible business combinations now that Grand Theft Auto IV (PS3, 360) has been released. Within the game's first week at retail, it sold six million units and brought in $500 million.

"Extending our offer will allow the FTC review process to continue," said EA Corporate Development senior VP Owen Mahoney. "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."

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