Sunday, December 20, 2009

Icahn and Take-Two Interactive

At the end of last week, Carl Icahn (an old friend of this site) reported that he has purchased more than 11% of the equity of the video game maker Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., (Nasdaq: TTWO) for about $70.6 million.

Other news on TTWO is at the other end of this click.

TTWO is notorious as the publisher of Grand Theft Auto, a series of video games that features sometimes shockingly realistic depictions of violence. Though the Grand Theft series has been wildly popular, TTWO is at present a money loser.

Last year, TTWO successfully resisted a $2 billion bid by Electronic Arts (EA). Be careful what you wish for, though, you might get it: independence, in particular, can be costly. The stock's value was at $17 when EA made the offer. It immediately lept to $26, reflecting EA's interest, and stayed in that neighborhood until the market understood that the deal wasn't going to go through after all, whereupon the price of TTWO began to fall. And kept falling. To less than $6 this March.

TTWO has recovered a bit since. It was close to $12 in mid-November, and has wildly zig-zagged, mostly downward, since.

I'm sure Icahn will have something to say about how it should be run, and we'll have a chance to revisit Take Two here.

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