Take-Two has been talked about as a potential acquisition target for years now. The Electronic Arts saga from a couple years ago nearly resulted in a buyout of the GTA publisher, but Take-Two insisted on remaining independent. Since that time, Take-Two has further grown its business and might even post a profit in a non-GTA year.
That said, investor Carl Icahn has been increasing his stake in Take-Two and some believe he’ll try to force a buyout of the company. Icahn already used his influence to change the makeup of the company’s board.
Now, however, as Take-Two goes through another shift in management and CEO Ben Feder leaves, speculation about a buyout is beginning to kick in again. Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia commented, “Reading between the lines, one might even argue that this management change is perhaps an early signal the company is getting closer to being taken out, especially given that the new COO Karl Slatoff’s background is in strategic planning/business development.”
He further elaborated to IndustryGamers when asked about who the most likely suitors would be: “Logically, the guys in the space that have the balance sheet to do this i.e., ATVI and ERTS are likely interested. In addition, Ubisoft could find TTWO an interesting partner–that would be more of a merger of equals. Other than that, private equity firms will likely find TTWO intriguing given its strong owned-IP.”
We agree that a Take-Two merger with Ubisoft could be intriguing. Imagine adding GTA, BioShock, NBA2K and more to hot IP like Assassin’s Creed, Prince of Persia, Ghost Recon, etc. Of course, if Activision Blizzard opened up its gigantic war chest to get Take-Two, some gamers would probably think the apocalypse is near.
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