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Electronic Arts further extends Take-Two tender offer

After quiet May 16 expiration, behemoth game developer sets a new deadline as a next step in its hostile bid to take over the company behind the Grand Theft Auto franchise.

Electronic Arts announced Monday that it is extending its tender offer for Take-Two Interactive Software to mid-June, marking its third extension in its hostile buyout attempt of its rival game maker.

Grand Theft Auto IV
Shortly after EA failed to make an attractive-enough offer, Take-Two's Grand Theft Auto IV shattered all-time launch sales records, lending support to Chairman Zelnick's argument that the bid undervalued the company. Rockstar Games

EA, which, to date, has received commitments from Take-Two investors to tender roughly 6.2 million shares, or 8 percent of the company, has extended its deadline to June 16. Previously, the deadline was set for May 16.

Taking a jab at its rival, Take-Two Chairman Strauss Zelnick issued a statement: "This is the same highly conditional proposal that EA offered Take-Two stockholders on March 13, 2008, which our board of directors thoroughly reviewed, and unanimously determined to be inadequate and contrary to the best interests of Take-Two's stockholders."

He further noted that Take-Two, in an effort to maximize shareholder value, has begun exploring strategic alternatives with interested parties, now that its record-breaking launch of Grand Theft Auto IV has wrapped up.

EA, which launched its hostile bid valued at $2 billion for Take-Two in late February, said despite the extension, its current offer remains the same.

"EA's offer price remains unchanged at $25.74 per share, and our offer is still subject to conditions that include regulatory approval. As stated earlier, we retain the right to terminate the offer, if the conditions are not satisfied," Owen Mahoney, senior vice president of EA corporate development, said in a statement.

Take-Two shares traded down 1.14 percent in Monday morning trading to $26.79 a share.