Is Take-Two looking to be acquired?

The game publisher's chief operating officer says that it's a "very attractive investment for anybody," causing speculation it might be open to an acquisition.

Take-Two Interactive might be open to being acquired, it was revealed in an interview IndustryGamers published recently.

Some analysts have said as of late that Take-Two is a more attractive buy than ever before. And although Take-Two's COO Karl Slatoff stopped short of saying that the game publisher was eying a potential acquisition, he did point out that any company that might acquire it would find a lot to like.

"I would agree with the analysts that you're referring to, that our IP obviously makes us a very attractive investment for anybody, whether it's a separate company or an individual investor, an institutional investor or a retail investor," Slatoff said in the interview with IndustryGamers. "I do think we have the best IP out there and we're continuing to invest in it. And that's our strategy."

Later on in the interview, Slatoff seemingly tried to temper his comments a bit, saying that "in terms of remaining independent or not independent, I think we're a fantastic company as an independent company and we've shown our ability to thrive in that environment." However, it didn't stop him from following up once again with claims that his company would be a fine acquisition target.

"But, like I said before," he told IndustryGamers, "we're a great investment for any kind of investor, in my opinion."

That's a sharp shift from where Take-Two was just a few years ago. In 2008, Electronic Arts tried to acquire Take-Two for $25 a share. After its offer was rejected, EA went public with a buyout offer at $26 per share. After that offer was turned down, EA turned hostile by offering $26-per-share to any shareholder that wanted to sell off its stake in the firm. At that rate, EA would have paid $2 billion for the company. But after the hostile bid was scuttled and talks between the companies stalled, EA backed out .

Since then, debate has raged over whether or not Take-Two should have taken EA's offer. The company's shares are currently hovering at $14, and it hasn't seen the mid-$20s since EA dropped its bid in 2008. The company's market cap currently sits at $1.22 billion.

However, when EA tried to acquire Take-Two, the company relied nearly exclusively on its Grand Theft Auto franchise. With the recent success of L.A. Noire, Red Dead Redemption, and the BioShock franchise, Take-Two now has more properties it can bring to the table of potential suitors.

Whether or not Take-Two has fielded any bids from other firms, or if it's even soliciting any bids is unknown. The company declined CNET's request for further comment on the matter.

As of this writing, Take-Two's shares are up 7 cents to $14.15 today.

 

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