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.
Electronic Arts, Activision, and Nintendo are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. Take-Two is a Rule Breakers newsletter pick. Microsoft has been singled out in Inside Value. Play along with any of the premium newsletters for the next 30 days with a free backstage pass.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz finally spent some time playing Grand Theft Auto IV last month. He still has a long way to go. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.