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EA launches hostile bid for Take 2

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EA launches hostile bid for Take 2

Redwood City (CA) – Electronic Arts is not giving up on its intention to acquire Take 2 Interactive, publisher of titles such as Grand Theft Auto, Bioshock, Bully and Manhunt 2. The company is approaching Take 2 shareholders directly, building on recent news that investors are suing Take 2 for not accepting EA’s acquisition offer.

EA said that it has made a tender offer for all of the currently outstanding shares of Take 2 common stock. The offer remained at the original $26 per share, which translates into a purchase price of about $2 billion, a 64% premium over Take 2’s closing stock price on February 15. Rather than aiming the offer directly at the company’s board, EA chief executive officer said that the tender offer “is a great opportunity for Take-Two shareholders.” He added: “We believe Take-Two investors will see our tender offer as the best way to maximize the value of their investment in Take-Two”.

The tender offer will scheduled to expire at 12:00 AM EDT on April 11, 2008. The offer itself has certain conditions, including EA’s ability to acquire the majority of outstanding Take 2 shares and Take 2’s willingness to enter into a merger agreement with EA.

EA announced its intention to acquire Take 2 on February 25. Take 2 however rejected the offer stating it was the wrong place and the wrong time to consider such an offer.  Yesterday, a Take 2 stock owner Patrick Solomon announced that he has filed suit because of that decision, claiming that EA failed to “reasonably respond” and that Take 2’s “outright rejection of EA’s offers and failure to negotiate” violated the company’s duty to “maximize shareholder value.”

At the same time that EA was attempting to buy Take 2, Take 2 decided to increase bonuses and compensation for management in the event of a takeover.  The company tried to keep this move confidential.