Take-Two Interactive chairman Strauss Zelnick has stated that the company’s actions to avoid a hostile takeover from Electronic Arts before the release of Grand Theft Auto IV have been vindicated, following a surge in the publisher’s share prices.
“The critical and consumer response to Grand Theft Auto IV vindicates our strategy of waiting until the launch with regard to E.A.’s offer,” said Zelnick in a New York Times interview.
At close of trading on Thursday, Take-Two’s share price stood at $26.09 - higher than that of Electronic Arts’ most recent offer of $25.74 per share. The share price has been slowly falling in the aftermath of Grand Theft Auto IV’s release, though, from a high close to $27.
Take-Two’s board of directors have always maintained that no significant takeover or merger talks will take place until after the release of Rockstar Games’ latest blockbuster. However, Zelnick’s latest comments give no clue as to when and if discussions with Electronic Arts might take a less antagonistic tone.
In the same The New York Times report, Electronic Arts spokesman Jeff Brown indicates that the share price increase “doesn’t change anything”. “We knew the game would be an extraordinary success,” said Brown. “All of that was factored into our offer of $2 billion.”