Grand Theft Auto maker Take-Two Interactive acquires Zynga in $12.7

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Grand Theft Auto

Take-Two Interactive, the company behind “Grand Theft Auto” and “Red Dead Redemption,” is buying Zynga, the company behind “FarmVille” and “Words With Friends,” for $12.7 billion in cash and stock.

Take-Two, a console gaming juggernaut, will be joined by a mobile gaming business with a cult-like following in a deal announced Monday.

At closing, Zynga shareholders will receive $3.50 in cash and $6.36 in Take-Two common stock for each outstanding share of Zynga stock. The deal is worth $9.86 per Zynga ordinary stock share.

“This strategic combination brings together our best-in-class console and PC franchises, with a market-leading, diversified mobile publishing platform that has a rich history of innovation and creativity,” Take-Two Chairman and CEO Strauss Zelnick said in a prepared statement. He will retain those roles when the companies become one.

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Take-Two hopes that the agreement will pave the way for mobile adaptations of some of its console and PC games.

Take-Two said on Monday that in the first two years after the deal closes, it expects to save about $100 million in yearly costs.

The integration and day-to-day operations of the combined Zynga and T2 Mobile Games business, which will operate under the Zynga name as its own label within Take-Two, will be overseen by Zynga CEO Frank Gibeau and its head of publishing, Bernard Kim.

Take-Two will also extend its board of directors to ten members after the deal closes, with two members coming from Zynga’s board.

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The deal contains a go-shop provision, which gives Zynga 45 days to consider other offers.

The transaction is likely to finalize in the first quarter of Take-fiscal Two’s 2023, which runs from June 30 to July 31. Both Take-Two and Zynga stockholders must yet approve it. Both boards of directors have given their approval.

Zynga Inc., based in San Francisco, saw its stock rise 52.5 percent to $9.15. Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., situated in New York City, saw its stock drop 8.7% to $150.25.

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