New Take Two shareholders to push up EA offer?

EA’s ‘hostile’ bid for Take Two may hit a snag when it comes to approaching individual shareholders – because many are experienced short-term investors that believe they can push the publisher’s offer skywards.

That’s according to The New York Times, which reports that ‘there has been a considerable turnover in ownership of Take Two’ in the last month.

‘Gone are many long-term shareholders, the newspaper continues, ‘who have given way to a group of investors willing to risk that the buyout will provide quick profit.’

The NYT adds that there has been ‘unusually high trading volume’ in Take Two’s stock Since Electronic Arts first made public its interest in acquiring Take Two for $2 billion last month – with a particualrly aggressive approach.

Since then, Take Two has rejected the deal, calling it "inadequate". But EA went back in with a surprise ‘hostile’ bid last week – offering invididual investors $26 per share, or a 50 per cent premium on the firm’s current share price.

Investment giant Oppenheimer has sold 8.8 million shares, about half what they owned previously. Fellow money manager Fidelity has sold 8.2 million shares, leaving it with a relatively paltry 2 million shares.

One short-term investor who refused to be identified said that he believed that institutions with small short-term stakes could band together to push Electronic Arts to raise its offer at least a few dollars.

He added that a representative from Electronic Arts has told Wall Street investors that the company is loath to walk away from the deal – giving the him and other traders hope the company could be pressured to raise its price.

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