EA will need to increase bid to complete Take Two deal, says analyst

Speaking ahead of Take Two’s annual general meeting later today (US time), Janco Partners’ Mike Hickey has stated he believes the Redwood publisher will need to up its bid by $4-per-share to $30 in order to be sure of completing an acquisition.

Hickey also believes that at the current offer price of $26-per share, EA is likely to have only secured the support of a quarter of Take Two investors.Hickey told GameDaily: "We continue to believe EA wants to buy Take-Two but will likely have to raise their tender to $30 per share if they expect to close the deal.

"We maintain our view EA’s bid will prove insufficient after talking with Take Twoshareholders and our approximation that at least 35 per centof the Take Two’s shareholder base consists of arbs.

"We do not believe EA has accumulated more then 25 per centof the Company’s shares in their current tender, which should provide them minimal leverage in pressuring the Company’s board in favor of their $26 bid."It’s difficult for us to determine EA’s willingness to increase their bid to complete the acquisition, but the accretive nature of the deal seems obvious and the incremental cost of a higher bid seems minimal compared to the longer term benefits.

"We believe Zelnick Media’s compensation plan will be approved today and that management continues to aggressively pursue the best interest of shareholders."

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