Take Two willing to negotiate with EA

But only after GTA IV comes out.

Take-Two has labelled Electronic Arts' USD 2 billion buy-out offer as "inadequate" and "opportunistic", as EA attempts to take advantage of the struggling Grand Theft Auto publisher, GamesIndustry.biz reports.

Take-Two's board rejected EA's offer last week, prompting Electronic Arts to yesterday reveal details of the proposed deal and to publish the full letter sent to the company from EA CEO John Riccitiello.

"We believe EA's unsolicited offer is highly opportunistic and is attempting to take advantage of our upcoming release of Grand Theft Auto IV, one of the most valuable and durable franchises in the industry," said the company.

"Electronic Arts' proposal provides insufficient value to our shareholders and comes at absolutely the wrong time given the crucial initiatives underway at the Company," commented Strauss Zelnick, executive chairman of Take-Two.

"In addition to undervaluing key elements of our business, EA's proposal fails to recognise the value we are building through our ongoing turnaround efforts, which will further revitalise Take-Two."

While Take-Two has rejected the initial offer from Electronic Arts, the company has said that it will be willing to enter discussions following the release of Grand Theft Auto IV on 29th April.

"We believe this offer demonstrated our commitment to pursuing all avenues to maximise stockholder value, while we believe that EA's refusal to entertain this path is evidence of their desire to acquire Take-Two at a significant discount, whereas we believe this value rightly belongs to our stockholders," added Zelnick.

EA will be holding a conference call this evening to discuss the acquisition attempt.

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