Electronic Arts extends Take-Two purchase offer

Posted by Mark Raby

Redwood City (CA) - Electronic Arts' much-publicized offer to take over Take-Two was set to expire this week, but EA has decided to extend it to May 16, two weeks after Rockstar's crucial Grand Theft Auto IV comes out.

EA's bid, which was first proposed last month, was seen as a calculated attempt to cash in on GTA IV before it hit stores.  Now it will probably have to wait until after the fact, which could drive up the asking price for the New York-based publisher.

However, EA has lowered the price for its offer.  It now wants to take over the company for $25.74 per share.  When it first offered the acquisition deal on March 13 it was willing to pay $26 per share.

Despite EA's aggression and potential added value for Take-Two, the publisher has remained adamant about not willing to talk.  

"Take-Two's board of directors has maintained from the beginning, and continues to believe, that EA's proposal vastly undervalues our company.  It undervalued the company at $26 per share, and it certainly undervalues Take-Two at $25.74," said chairman Strauss Zelnick.

GTA IV could well be the best-selling game yet for Take-Two's "Rockstar" label.  The niche publisher has become notorious for its "push the envelope" gaming strategy, dealing with legions of regulatory scrutiny and public outcry.

Electronic Arts, the world's largest video game publisher, has been active in the acquisition arena.  In addition to acquiring traditional game publishers like Bioware and Pandemic, it also purchased casual gaming site Pogo.com, and it also bought out the number one mobile game studio at the time, Jamdat.