EA makes all cash tender offer to purchase Take-Two

With Take-Two Executive Chairman Strauss Zelnick having thoroughly rejected EA's initial buyout offer, the Madden and Burnout publisher has redirected its corporate Katamari at Take-Two shareholders. EA has announced the commencement of a tender offer for all of the currently outstanding shares of common stock of Take-Two Interactive Software at $26 per share. Valued at approximately $2 billion, the offer reportedly represents a 64% premium over Take-Two's closing stock price on February 15, the company's last trading day before EA began its increasingly aggressive financial courtship. Compared to Wednesday's stock price, it constitutes a 4.4% premium.

Barring extension, the tender offer is good until midnight EST on Friday, April 11, 2008. EA CEO John Riccitiello described the offer as "a great opportunity for Take-Two shareholders" and as a a way to "maximize the value" of their investment. "For EA shareholders, the combination would add additional intellectual properties to our already strong portfolio and welcome Take-Two's talented creative teams to the great development organization we've built at EA," he concluded.

Will shareholders deem this offer welcomed financial assistance or unwanted financial insistence? We'll have to wait and see.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.