Analyst Says Take Two Remains a Target for Acquisition

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Janco Partners’ analyst Mike Hickey has reiterated his belief that Take Two Interactive “will eventually be acquired” despite repeated statements by CEO Strauss Zelnick that the company is not for sale.

Despite rumors that management changes at Take Two earlier in the year were part of a prelude to the company’s sale, Zelnick said in November, “I’m much more interested in growing the business than in selling it, to be clear. I would say for the next five to seven years this is a terrific time to be in the videogame business.”

But GameDaily reports that Hickey said the number of successful Take Two properties makes it too attractive a target, especially in light of recent buyout activity taking place between other companies. “The company owns a large stable of owned and internally developed IP franchises including GTA, BioShock, Midnight Club, Civilization, Bully, Red Dead Revolver, Manhunt, Carnival Games and Max Payne. The recent acquisition of Activision by Vivendi and BioWare Pandemic by Electronic Arts are clear examples of owned IP value recognition, in our view,” Hickey said.

“Despite the company’s often clumsy sequential operating performance, the strength of their game portfolio could provide an acquirer a significant growth engine with several unpriced ancillary opportunities like a GTA massive multiplayer (MMO),” he added. “We believe TTWO’s Rockstar portfolio of games could generate over +$400 million in average sales into the foreseeable future with an imbedded option for their own MMO release, suggesting their Rockstar portfolio is worth well over $1 billion, in our view.”

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