Take-Two has rejected EA's offer of a stock buyout for $26 a share (which is now what Take-Two is trading at after the markets opened today, up from $17).
Strauss Zelnick, Executive Chairman of the Board of Take-Two said, “Electronic Arts’ proposal provides insufficient value to our shareholders and comes at absolutely the wrong time given the crucial initiatives underway at the Company."
Noting that this move by EA is probably an attempt to secure Take-Two for cheap before Grand Theft Auto IV launches, they added:
"However, given the great importance of the Grand Theft Auto IV launch to the value of Take-Two, the Board has determined that the only prudent and responsible course for our Company and its stockholders is to defer these discussions until immediately after Grand Theft Auto IV is released. Therefore, we offered to initiate discussions with EA on April 30th, 2008 (the day after Grand Theft Auto IV is scheduled to release). We believe this offer demonstrated our commitment to pursuing all avenues to maximize stockholder value, while we believe that EA’s refusal to entertain this path is evidence of their desire to acquire Take-Two at a significant discount, whereas we believe this value rightly belongs to our stockholders.”
Ouch, nice comeback. While some analysts are pointing toward a possible hostile takeover by EA, others warn that this could be a poor move and drive away developers like Rockstar.
At this point, anything could happen.