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Take-Two digs heels in over EA acquisition

Following extension to offer, Zelnick and Feder continue to dismiss deal as undervaluing the publisher

Take-Two executives have responded to EA's extension to its offer to acquire all of Take-Two's outstanding shares, insisting that it is still unsuitable and will be rejected.

The extension came as, according to EA, only 8 per cent of Take-Two's outstanding shares tendered into its offer by the time the deadline arrived on May 16. Take-Two's chairman Strauss Zelnick and CEO Ben Feder have issued a statement against the extension, arguing the deal still "undervalues" the company.

"This is the same highly conditional proposal that EA offered Take-Two stockholders on March 13, 2008, which our board of directors thoroughly reviewed and unanimously determined to be inadequate and contrary to the best interests of Take-Two's stockholders.

"As such, the recommendation of our board of directors that stockholders not tender their shares to EA remains unchanged... We are confident in the significant growth potential of Take-Two and in the unique value of our business given our strong position in this growing and dynamic industry," said Zelnick.

Feder added: "EA's highly conditional offer fails to compensate our stockholders for our exceptional portfolio of intellectual property, world-class creative resources, and our successful revitalisation initiatives."

"In the last several weeks, our strategy and Take-Two's value have been vividly demonstrated by two notable events. The record-breaking sales performance of Grand Theft Auto IV in its first week of release confirmed its status as the most successful videogame launch of all time and as a blockbuster on a par with any entertainment product ever released.

"We have also just announced an agreement with Universal Pictures to make BioShock, the universally acclaimed hit videogame, into a feature film, demonstrating how Take-Two is delivering value from our powerful and wholly-owned intellectual property. The small number of shares tendered into EA's offer to date demonstrates that our stockholders agree with what our board has maintained from the beginning: EA's proposal undervalues our company."

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