By AP Business Writer
updated 3/26/2008 9:25:19 AM ET 2008-03-26T13:25:19

"Grand Theft Auto" publisher Take-Two Interactive told its shareholders Wednesday to reject a $2 billion buyout bid from rival video game company Electronic Arts, saying it is not enough.

But in the same breath the company said it will explore alternatives, even combining with EA or other third parties, to maximize its value for shareholders. But it wants to wait until after April 29, when "Grand Theft Auto IV," the latest in the blockbuster series, hits store shelves. The game is by far Take-Two's most popular and one of the best-selling franchises in the industry.

The $26 per-share bid turned hostile March 13 when EA took the offer directly to shareholders. Take-Two's board had asked for 10 business days to mull over the decision and that time ran out Wednesday.

Take-Two took several steps to prevent EA from going through with a hostile takeover. It adopted a 180-day shareholders' rights agreement, also known as a "poison pill." It kicks in if an outsider acquires 20 percent of Take-Two's shares or if an existing shareholder who already owns this much buys another 2 percent.

Chairman Strauss Zelnick said the rights agreement "will not, and is not intended to, prevent a takeover of the company on terms that are fair to and in the best interests of all stockholders."

Take-Two also moved back its upcoming annual shareholder meeting to April 17 from April 10 and amended its bylaws to give shareholders more time to nominate board members.

A representative for Redwood City, Calif.-based Electronic Arts Inc. could not immediately be reached for comment.

Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.'s shares have briefly climbed above $26 in recent weeks, but analysts are not expecting the offer to go much higher. The company said it has received other "indications of interest" since EA's offer became public last month, but there haven't been any "substantive discussions."

Take-Two said it is willing to start preliminary talks, including with EA, before April 29 under confidentiality agreements.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

Data: Latest rates in the US

Home equity rates View rates in your area
Home equity type Today +/- Chart
$30K HELOC FICO 3.79%
$30K home equity loan FICO 4.99%
$75K home equity loan FICO 4.69%
Credit card rates View more rates
Card type Today +/- Last Week
Low Interest Cards 13.83%
Cash Back Cards 17.80%
Rewards Cards 17.18%