EA Drops Take-Two Bid, For Good

Electronic Arts (EA) began its pursuit of Take-Two Interactive in February, but was immediately rebuffed.  Through all these months, Take-Two has said that EA's offer undervalued the company.  But while Electronic Arts let its tender offer expire in August, both companies indicated that the two continued talks in private.  On Sunday, EA issued a terse press release saying the deal was off for good.

The decision was made "after careful consideration, including a management presentation and review of other due diligence materials," Electronic Arts (EA) said in a brief statement.

EA, which owns some of the most popular sports games franchises in the industry, originally offered US$2 billion for Take-Two in February of this year. At the time Take-Two was preparing to release "Grand Theft Auto IV," the latest in its popular game series, and rejected EA's bid as "inadequate in multiple respects."

At the same time, Take-Two issued a similarly terse press release.  Reading carefully, it's pretty clear that Take-Two is still open to other deals.  Their press release said

We remain focused on creating value for our stockholders and our consumers. This has been our goal since EA launched its conditional and unsolicited bid six months ago, a bid which was repeatedly rejected by our stockholders. As part of that commitment, we remain actively engaged in discussions with other parties in the context of our formal process to consider strategic alternatives."

In other words, give us more cash, and we'd be willing to talk.  The GTA IV franchise alone makes the company highly desired.  As the Christmas season is nearly, likely nothing will happen until next year, as gaming companies focus on the holiday season, rather than deal-making.

Tags:  Take-Two, Two, EA, bid, id, K