Goldman: Expect Electronic Arts To Raise Take-Two Offer (ERTS, TTWO)

GTA IV

It’s “rational” to expect Electronic Arts to raise its bid for Take-Two, the makers of Grand Theft Auto, says Goldman Sachs analyst Mark Wienkes. This seems to be the market consensus, since TTWO is now trading just below ERTS’ $26/share offer. But Wienkes also wants the two companies to hurry up and get it over with — if the deal is going to help Electronic Arts with its 2009 release schedule, it’s got to happen soon, he says.

For that same reason, count on Take-Two management to draw this out and try to push its takeout price up. Take-Two’s board is evaluating EA’s tenure offer (for show) and tomorrow it will formally pass. The deal itself expires April 11, and Grand Theft Auto IV won’t hit stores until the end of April. We’ve figured that the game’s success is already priced into the stock, but TTWO management has been adamant in arguing that it has a bump coming.

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