Another month marks yet another extension for Electronic Arts'
Still, it seems that EA persistence is finally starting to pay off, after a string of disappointments:
- Just 6.4 million shares -- or 8% of Take-Two's outstanding shares -- were tendered to EA back in April.
- Shareholders offered 6.2 million shares in May.
- Last month, only 6.1 million shares boarded the S.S. Buyout.
That trend now seems to have reversed. A total of 11.7 million shares of Take-Two Interactive were tendered to EA as of this past weekend's deadline -- a sharp improvement over last month's figure, but still just 15% of the outstanding shares. EA has a long way to go to get a majority of Take-Two investors on board.
EA's chances improved as the market slipped, sending shares of Take-Two below the EA tender offer price. Opportunistic traders are buying in below $25.74, hoping to make up the difference with a completed sale.
Unfortunately, this dance has been going on since March. EA refuses to budge from its inadequate price, while Take-Two has done everything possible to earn a premium: blowing past profit targets, raising guidance, and even landing a movie deal for its BioShock video game. Even Nintendo (OTC BB: NTDOY.PK), a company that had typically shied away from the controversial Grand Theft Auto games, is on board for a watered-down version for its DS portable system later this year.
EA has been hungry for a hit. There's plenty of hype for the long-delayed Spore, but it's unlikely to come anywhere close to Take-Two's record-breaking performance earlier this year with GTA IV.
Now that Activision
Take-Two would be perfect ammo. When even Microsoft
EA can keep this dance going, hoping that Take-Two slips (which it probably won't) or that the market will continue to tank (which it might), but it's cheating itself by not offering up a legitimate offer that will get a majority of Take-Two shareholders' heads nodding.