EA Gets Hostile in 'Grand Theft' Takeover Bid

Video game maker plans to bypass Take-Two management
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 13, 2008 10:21 AM CDT
EA Gets Hostile in 'Grand Theft' Takeover Bid
Electronic Arts video game Madden 08 is on display next to Take-Two Interactive Software video game Grand Theft Auto at Best Buy in Mountain View, Calif.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Electronic Arts is renewing its $2 billion bid to take over rival Take-Two Interactive—but this time the offer will go directly to the video game maker's shareholders, in a sign the potential deal may be turning hostile, reports the Wall Street Journal. EA’s initial offer was rejected by Take-Two management, who said it undervalued the company, even though the $26 per share represented a 50% premium at the time.

Take-Two closed at $24.91 yesterday after reporting a first-quarter loss, but projecting positive numbers for the year. Analysts say EA could up its offer—set to expire April 11—to finish the deal; or walk away in hopes of picking up the Grand Theft Auto publisher at a further discount in the future. (More acquisition stories.)

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