EA Talks About Their "Tender" Offer and a Line in the Sand

I had a chance to speak with Owen Mahoney, Electronic Arts senior vice president of corporate development, a short time ago about their decision to take their campaign to buy-out Take-Two to the next level.

"The timing of (the offer) was really driving off of what we think is best for the company," Mahoney said. "The offer has been open for two weeks now, the longer it is out there the less valuable it is."

On Tuesday Take-Two reiterated their position during their earnings report conference call that they would not be selling to Electronic Arts.

"We wanted to learn what they had to say and once we learned that we decieded the right thing to do was to bring it right to shareholders," Mahoney said.

Early this morning EA announced their tender offer which would buy up shareholders' Take-Two stock at the same $US 26 a share offered to the company, provided that they can land at least 51 percent of the company.

Come the midnight deadline on April 11 Electronic Arts will either have the shares needed to vote out the board and install their own, buy-out friendly, folks, or they could extend the deadline. They could also, Mahoney points out, decide it's time to walk-away from Take-Two.

"I do not know," Mahoney said, when asked if Take-Two is a done deal. "I don't know if it's a done deal or not, all I know is what we are offering is a fair price.

"Our shareholders expect us to be very price disciplined."

Mahoney added that the EA would still love to come to an agreement directly with the company, but said there really aren't any formal negotiations going on. John Riccitello did call Take-Two management yesterday to let them know about the upcoming tender offer.

You know what they say EA? No? Well take my advice, you've got to hold her, don't squeeze her, never leave her... you've got to try a little tenderness...


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