Electronic Arts announced this morning that it has extended its bid to buy Take-Two. The prior bid expired on Friday, May 16th, and this latest extension, the third since EA announced its bid, gives the publisher until June 16th to negotiate a deal.
According to the latest SEC filing, EA has not raised its bid, as some analysts had speculated it would. The offer remains at $US 25.74 per share, and as of the time the filing was made, the company reported that only 6,210,261 shares had been tendered to EA - to acquire a majority stake, EA needs more than five times that many.
"Extending our offer will allow the FTC review process to continue," said EA VP of corporate development Owen Mahoney. "EA's offer price remains unchanged at $US 25.74 per share and our offer is still subject to conditions that include regulatory approval. As stated earlier, we retain the right to terminate the offer if the conditions are not satisfied."
Following EA's extension announcement, Take-Two executives also issued statements:
"This is the same highly conditional proposal that EA offered Take-Two stockholders on March 13, 2008, which our Board of Directors thoroughly reviewed and unanimously determined to be inadequate and contrary to the best interests of Take-Two's stockholders," said Take-Two Board chairman Strauss Zelnick, stating again that he recommends stockholders not tender shares to EA.
"We said we were willing to begin formal discussions with interested parties on April 30, following the launch of Grand Theft Auto IV, and we have in fact begun that process," Zelnick said.
Take-Two CEO Ben Feder said that GTA IV's record-breaking launch, along with recently-announced plans to develop a BioShock feature film , [demonstrate]how Take-Two is delivering value from our powerful and wholly-owned intellectual property. The small number of shares tendered into EA's offer to date demonstrates that our stockholders agree with what our Board has maintained from the beginning: EA's proposal undervalues our Company."