Originally set to expire on May 16, the new deadline takes EA’s offer to 11:59 p.m. EST on June 16. The purchase price on offer remains unchanged, however, at $25.74 per share. The company said in a statement that as of the previous deadline date, approximately 6,210,261 shares of Take-Two had been tendered. According to Take-Two, that number represents only eight percent of the total, however, leaving EA far short of its goal.
“Extending our offer will allow the FTC review process to continue,” said EA Senior Vice President Owen Mahoney. “EA’s offer price remains unchanged at $25.74 per share and our offer is still subject to conditions that include regulatory approval. As stated earlier, we retain the right to terminate the offer if the conditions are not satisfied.”
The move comes despite a recent statement by Jeff Brown, EA’s vice president of corporate communication, who suggested time was winding down on the possibility of a deal and strongly implied that EA was losing interest. Claiming the acquisition of Take-Two is “not a strategic priority for EA,” he said, “We would very much like to give (Take-Two’s studios) a home and access to our publishing capability, but we just don’t need it.”
In response to the extension, Take-Two management indicated it was continuing to explore its options with interested parties, but remained firmly against the terms of EA’s current offer. “This is the same highly conditional proposal that EA offered Take-Two stockholders on March 13, 2008, which our Board of Directors thoroughly reviewed and unanimously determined to be inadequate and contrary to the best interests of Take-Two’s stockholders,” said Take-Two Chairman Strauss Zelnick. “As such, the recommendation of our Board of Directors that stockholders not tender their shares to EA remains unchanged.”
“We said we were willing to begin formal discussions with interested parties on April 30, following the launch of Grand Theft Auto IV, and we have in fact begun that process,” Zelnick said. “We are confident in the significant growth potential of Take-Two and in the unique value of our business given our strong position in the growing and dynamic industry.”
“In the last several weeks, our strategy and Take-Two’s value have been vividly demonstrated by two notable events,” added Take-Two CEO Ben Feder. “The record-breaking sales performance of Grand Theft Auto IV in its first week of release confirmed its status as the most successful videogame launch of all time and as a blockbuster on par with any entertainment product ever released. We have also just announced an agreement with Universal Pictures to make BioShock, the universally acclaimed hit videogame, into a feature film, demonstrating how Take-Two is delivering value from our powerful and wholly-owned intellectual property. The small number of shares tendered into EA’s offer to date demonstrates that our stockholders agree with what our Board has maintained from the beginning: EA’s proposal undervalues our company.”