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EA Looks to Take Take-Two

Electronic Arts has announced they are looking to buy Take-Two Interactive for a whopping 2 billion dollars. The article offers the text of a letter sent to Take-Two from EA Chief Executive Officer John Riccitiello describing the all-cash offer that has been rejected by Take-Two. EA is now making this public in the hopes that Take-Two shareholders will find it appealing and exert pressure on the board to accept it. Here's a summary:

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Electronic Arts Inc. (“EA”) (NASDAQ: ERTS - News) today announced that it has proposed to acquire Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (“Take-Two”) (NASDAQ: TTWO - News) in an all-cash merger valued at approximately $2.0 billion.

EA’s proposal of $26 per share in cash represents a premium of 64 percent over Take-Two’s closing stock price on Feb. 15th, the last trading day before EA sent its revised proposal to Take-Two, and a 63 percent premium over Take-Two’s 30-day trailing average price over the thirty trading days ending on that date.

EA’s proposal was contained in a letter sent on Feb. 19th by EA Chief Executive Officer John Riccitiello to Strauss Zelnick, Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of Take-Two. The Take-Two Board’s subsequent rejection of the EA proposal led to EA’s decision to release the letter and bring its proposal to the attention of all Take-Two shareholders.

Mr. Riccitiello said today: “Our all-cash proposal is a unique opportunity for Take-Two shareholders to realize immediate value at a substantial premium, while creating long-term value for EA shareholders. Take-Two’s game designers would also benefit from EA’s financial resources, stable, game-focused management team, and strong global publishing capabilities.”

The EA letter warned that further Take-Two delay in accepting EA’s proposal could prevent Take-Two’s shareholders and other constituents from realizing its benefits. “There can be no certainty that in the future EA or any other buyer would pay the same high premium we are offering today,” Mr. Riccitiello wrote. The letter added that timely completion of the proposed transaction would allow EA’s strong publishing and distribution network to positively impact the ongoing post-launch sales of GTA IV and support the new Take-Two titles scheduled for launch later in the year and during the holiday selling season.

As noted in EA’s Feb. 19th letter, EA’s proposal is not conditioned on any financing requirement. It is, however, subject to certain customary conditions as set forth in the letter. EA’s $26 per share proposal is based on the current equity capitalization of Take-Two. Although EA indicated in the letter that its proposal was subject to negotiations commencing by Feb. 22nd, EA intends to keep its proposal open for the present to give Take-Two’s shareholders and Board of Directors further time to consider it.

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42. Re: No subject Feb 25, 2008, 05:54 Chairman Kaga
 
The days maybe coming when EA buys up the last Developer and feeds us nothing but bad ports of the Sims, MMO's and sports games for PC.

So, business as usual, then. Got it.

 
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