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Take-Two in new buyout rumour

L.A. Noire success could lead to new acquisition attempt claims analyst

Following the success of L.A. Noire, Rockstar Games owner Take-Two Interactive is now "a reasonable bet" for takeover claims an analyst - although a prospective buyer has not been suggested.

"Whether GTA V is released in late FY12 or a few months later, i.e., in early FY13, should not materially change the company's intrinsic value," said Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia in comments made to website IndustryGamers.

"What should be more important is that with the strong launch of L.A. Noire last week, Take-Two has created yet another valuable franchise ... With the GTA catalyst still ahead and the possibility of a takeout still a reasonable bet," said Bhatia.

L.A. Noire was released last week and became the fast-selling new IP ever in the UK, with developer Team Bondi already discussing potential plans for a follow-up.

Proving that it is not dependent solely on the Grand Theft Auto franchise may make Take-Two more appealing to larger companies, but the publisher has already survived a hostile takeover from Electronic Arts.

In 2008 EA's $2 billion valuation for Take-Two was considered too low by the Take-Two board and the offer failed to gain the backing of a majority of shareholders.

Whether EA would be interested in making a new offer is unclear, but last week analyst firm Cowen & Company predicted that L.A. Noire would sell only 4 million units - half that of 2010 hit Red Dead Redemption.

The firm indicated it had only "modest" expectations for the rest of Take-Two's 2012 line-up, including Duke Nukem Forever and XCOM, and expressed concerns over weaker sales of NBA 2K12.

As a result it lowered it's per share estimates for the company and suggested that, "initial management guidance for FY12 is likely to be even more conservative than our below-street estimate."

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David Jenkins

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