Take Two tells EA to wait until after GTA IV

Posted by Mark Raby

New York (NY) - The board of directors at Take Two Interactive has officially rejected the $2 billion takeover bid from Electronic Arts, saying it undervalued the company and is not the right time to consider such an acquisition.

EA offered Take Two $26 per share earlier this month, offering a premium of more than 10% of the stock price at the time.  That began a series of trepidations between the two companies.  

Take Two essentially refused to consider the offer because it was too focused on the upcoming game Grand Theft Auto IV, poised to possibly be its biggest release yet.  The publisher said it was "absolutely the wrong time" for an acquisition offer.

EA then took the bid directly to the shareholders, causing many to label it as a "hostile takeover" bid, but Take Two put into place measures that stifled that possibility.

However, Take Two said in a press release that after GTA IV is released it will explore new strategic moves "which may include  a business combination with third parties or with EA, remaining independent, or other strategic or financial alternatives that could deliver higher stockholder value than the current EA offer."

Take Two also decided to push back its annual shareholder meeting by a week, from April 10 to April 17, as a result of the recent events.  GTA IV is slated for release on April 29.