Analyst: Take-Two Talks Buyout Before GTA IV

Despite predicting fiscal year sales of Grand Theft Auto IV to reach 9 million, with 6 million shipping out the first week, Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter believes that Take-Two is ready to talk EA buyout. Citing a poor lineup over the next year, with major sequels such as BioShock 2 a long way off, Pachter believes that Take-Two will abandon it's stance on not discussing a potential buyout until after GTA IV is released.

"We expect that in order to save face, Take-Two management will withdraw its demand that any discussions wait until after the launch of GTA IV, and we think that management will engage in discussions with EA,"

Pachter also suspects that EA, in order to facilitate a more friendly transaction, will be willing to up their offer to as high as $US 27 a share. With big investors already bailing, stockholders would likely jump at the offer. At this point EA purchasing Take-Two feels like less of an if and more of a when.

GTA IV to sell 9m units, ship 6m in first week []


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