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Take Two completes TDK acquisition

Without Shrek.

Publisher Take Two Interactive has finalised its acquisition of TDK Mediactive, but the deal excludes one of TDK's most high profile properties, with Dreamworks' Shrek IP going instead to Activision.

The final terms of the deal will see Take Two paying $12.8 million for TDK's outstanding shares, with a payment of $9.7 million in stock and shares going to TDK Mediactive's parent company, TDK USA.

However, although the majority of TDK's licenses are covered by the deal - including Robotech, The Muppets, Masters of the Universe, Ultimate Fighting Championship and Star Trek - one cornerstone of the company's line-up has slipped through the net, with Dreamworks handing the rights to its Shrek movie (and forthcoming sequel) to Activision.

Although the exclusion of the Shrek license might look like a blow for Take Two, some analysts are less certain - pointing out that the Shrek game franchise comes with a $5 million debt attached, and that previous games based on the property haven't exactly set the world on fire.

"We believe that Shrek 2 would have to sell 4 million or more units with a heavy weighting towards consoles for the $5 million to look like a bad deal," according to RBC Capital Markets analyst Stewart Halpen - throwing a rather different light on the "loss" of the franchise. Popular movies do not always translate into popular games, as many publishers have learned painfully in the past.

Take Two is expected to shape TDK Mediactive into a new division within the company, similar to its existing publishing labels which include Rockstar, Gathering and Gotham Games. It's not yet known what this new division, which will focus heavily on kids titles, will be called.

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