Video game publisher Electronic Arts, Inc. said it woould not 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" series of games.
EA said Monday that if it does buy Take-Two, it no longer believes it can integrate the smaller company in time for the crucial holiday season. And "given the passage of time," EA said it needed to review assumptions made to support its offer price of $25.74 per share, or about $2 billion.
Take-Two shares fell $1.54, or 6.2 percent, to $23.30 in premarket trading. Shares in EA fell 24 cents to $48 in pre-market trading.
EA already has extended its deadline for the offer five times, mostly to let regulators continue their antitrust review. The company said it would let the offer expire at 11:59 p.m. EDT Monday, saying it "remains confident that antitrust issues will not prevent or delay a transaction."
EA also said Monday it would entertain a financial presentation by Take-Two under confidentiality agreements.
New York-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.
On Friday, EA Chief Executive John Riccitiello called Strauss Zelnick, chairman of Take-Two’s board, to discuss the offer. Following further discussions over the weekend, EA agreed to hear Take-Two’s presentation. In a letter made public Monday, Zelnick said the company "has made significant strides since EA first expressed interest" in Take-Two.
"I believe our presentation will enable you to understand better the value of our Company to EA," Zelnick wrote.