Take Six on Take-Two Offer to Expire

Vancouver’s Electronic Arts (EA) said it won’t extend a Monday evening deadline for its $2- Billion tender offer to buy smaller rival Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. – best known for the popular Grand Theft Auto franchise. EA said today that if it does buy Take-Two, it no longer believes it can integrate the smaller company in time for the crucial holiday season. EA also stated that the they would need to review assumptions made to support its offer price of $25.74 per share.

EA had already extended its deadline for the offer five times – mostly to let regulators continue their antitrust review. The current offer expires at 11:59 pm tonight.

Instead the companies are expected to sign a confidentiality agreement that will get them talking seriously about strategic alternatives that could result in an investment or purchase. NYC-based Take-Two has repeatedly rejected EA’s offer as too low. Take-Two’s management said it would present EA with its three-year product release schedule, financial projections and other nonpublic information meant to support that claim.