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Take-Two to present to EA as acquisition plans roll into 2009

EA to allow tender offer to expire tonight; senior execs discuss non-public information; no acquisition this year, says Riccitiello

Take-Two is due to present to the management board of Electronic Arts shortly, as the FIFA publisher continues to pursue its acquisition of the company behind the Grand Theft Auto phenomenon.

Following telephone discussions between Electronic Arts' John Riccitiello and Take-Two's Strauss Zelnick at the weekend, EA has agreed to let its tender offer for Take-Two expire this evening, and intends to sign a non-disclosure agreement paving the way for Take-Two to present directly to the senior executives at EA.

However, EA CEO Riccitiello does not believe it's possible to complete any acquisition of Take-Two this year.

In a letter to Riccitiello, Zelnick wrote: "The company has made significant strides since EA first expressed interest in the company and this presentation includes material non-public information to which you would not otherwise have access, including information relating to our three year product release schedule and management's financial projections.

"The presentation also includes information about the underlying factors that have driven our strong operational and financial performance. I believe our presentation will enable you to understand better the value of our company to EA."

Zelnick added that he was eager to help EA in its decision-making following months of back and forth between the two publishers - and following Riccitiello's signature on the NDA hopes to schedule the presentation immediately.

In response Riccitiello said that he does not believe any acquisition could be completed before the end of the year – crucially missing the forthcoming Christmas sales season – but the company is keen to sit down with Zelnick and his team to delve deeper into the Take-Two business.

"We no longer believe we can integrate Take-Two ahead of the important holiday season," wrote Riccitiello in response.

"We continue to have great respect for Take-Two's creative teams and products and are hopeful that we can work together to reach a mutually agreed transaction."

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Latest comments (5)

Alexander Cederholm Editor-in-Chief, GAMEcore.se11 years ago
What I really want to know now is how much a Take-Two share costs. We haven't heard anything about it for a while. Take-Twos stock skyrocketed after the GTAIV release but went down fairly quickly again, and you can't forget that Take-Twos stock value seems to be greatly influenced by EA:s offer.
I really want to see what happens to the shares when EA withdrawls it's offer. May we finally see Take-Two:s so called real value by that point?
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Rupert Loman Founder & CEO, Gamer Network11 years ago
I think we might. I'm genuinely surprised that Take Two didn't take the EA offer - will they really get another $2bn valuation now that GTAIV is out the way?
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Alexander Cederholm Editor-in-Chief, GAMEcore.se11 years ago
I followed this since the beginning. For me this has been the most exciting gaming news during the whole year. I, like you, canīt belive that Take-Two didnīt take the offer by some point.
Take into account that Take-Two haven't shown profit for a long time (except for Q2 this year) and that makes them pay less taxes. If EA buys Take-Two then they have to start to pay taxes for Take-Two because EA is a profitble company. I belive this was taken into account when EA evaluated their offer.

Many people haven't even noticed that detail.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.11 years ago
Something I haven't seen come up yet but I think it a pretty big issue is that Take Two owns Jack Of All Games, the largest games distributor in the US. EA would gain a massive asset given the volume of units they ship per year for 7+ different platforms.
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Alexander Cederholm Editor-in-Chief, GAMEcore.se11 years ago
Ohh... interesting point. That would be very nice for EA to have that...
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