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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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Matt Martin avatar
Matt Martin: Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.
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