Take-Two Interactive has issued a statement in response to news that Electronic Arts is extending its tender offer for all outstanding shares in the company.

EA’s tender offer was originally set to expire on April 17, but following the Take-Two shareholder meeting held on the same day the company announced it would extend the offer to May 16. It also reduced the per-share price of its offer, from the original amount of $26.00 to $25.74, which it blamed on the new incentive stock plan for Take-Two management which was approved at the meeting.

“The minuscule number of shares tendered, as well as the strong vote in favor of the proposals presented at our annual meeting, offer indisputable evidence that our stockholders regard our efforts to enhance Take-Two’s stockholder value as superior to the EA offer,” said Take-Two Chairman Strauss Zelnick, noting that only 8.3 percent of Take-Two’s outstanding shares had been tendered to EA’s offer. “This is the same highly conditioned 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. Take-Two’s Board of Directors has maintained from the beginning, and continues to believe, that EA’s proposal undervalues our Company. It undervalued the company at $26 per share, and it certainly undervalues Take-Two at $25.74.”

“EA’s highly conditional offer fails to compensate our stockholders for our exceptional portfolio of intellectual property, world-class creative resources, and our successful revitalization initiatives. The recommendation of our Board of Directors that stockholders not tender their shares to EA remains unchanged,” he continued. “The Board is committed to maximizing stockholder value and continues to explore all strategic alternatives, including a business combination with third parties, remaining independent, or other strategic or financial alternatives. We have received expressions of interest from a number of interested parties and look forward to beginning formal discussions following the launch of Grand Theft Auto IV. The Board continues to believe that we will be best positioned, from the perspective of both value and timing, to move forward at that time. We are confident in the significant growth potential of Take-Two and in the unique value of our business given our strong position in this dynamic industry.”

Throughout its duel with EA, Take-Two has consistently maintained that it would not enter into formal negotiations with any third party until after the release of Grand Theft Auto IV on April 29, which management believes will help maximize the company’s value.

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