Countdown to EA/Take Two decision begins

Electronic Arts is just hours away from finding out if it has won over Take Two’s shareholders – and successfully acquired the company.

It’s a fascinating time for those that love their numbers; with the big question – will EA CEO John Riccitiello push his bid even higher as time ticks away?

EA’s $2 billion tender offer is set to expire today – and Riccitiello et al need to convince at least 51 per cent of Take Two investors to sell up in order to claim the company.

The current $25.74 per share bid (around $2.1 billion) has already beenamended once, but Take Two executive chairman Strauss Zelnick is still encouraging investors to hold out – and so far, he looks to have been successful.

However, one of the longest sagas in video games business history could also be extended by even more time today – as predicted by Lazard Capital Market analyst Colin Sebastian – giving EA a precious extra few days to convince Take Two stockholders.

Wall Street confidence in that eventuality appears to be dropping – EA’s shares fell or 2.4 per cent to $51.52 in the US yesterday, whilst Take-Two gained 1.3 percent, to $27.33.

As Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter told MCV this week:

It really depends upon whether Take-Two is willing to deal with EA on a reasonable basis, and ask for a price that is within range of EA’s price ceiling.”

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