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RUMOR: Sony in talks to buy Take-Two Interactive

Take-Two Interactive Software TTWO, +5.35% stock climbed 4.7% on rumors that Sony Corp. SNE, +0.94% “is in advanced board level discussions to acquire Take-Two Interactive in a mostly cash deal,” that would value the company at $130 share, according to Joel Kulina, head of technology and media trading at Wedbush Securities. (paragraph 15)

Update:

Admin note: This meets our requirements for rumors, even if it´s a pretty far fetched rumor. We encourage skepticism over such a massive move within the gaming industry.

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darthv7211d ago

That would be huge if true and a major blow to the other platforms.

Pennywise13811d ago

I’m sure Nintendo would be fine since they are always off in the corner doing their own thing anyway and I’m sure PC gaming as a whole would survive but if true I think it could possibly be an Xbox brand killer. Especially if this gets announced before the release of the next gen systems. If people know ahead of time they will not be able to play series like GTA, Red dead, NBA 2k,bioshock and many many others I don’t see anyone but the most die hard loyalists buying the next Xbox.

AnthonyDavis11d ago

If it happens this is why Sony is better for the gaming industry. Exclusives make for better games. Ever since going multiplat we get shovelware yearly iterations and Japanese games the never come out. Back will be the quality games that come out every 3 or 4 years.

RememberThe35711d ago

This is what actually makes it seem real to me. I doubt it will happen, (I do believe that they're talking) but if the next gen is going to be as stream happy as people are saying and all these new streaming platforms are going to be able to run on all this different hardware, locking up a biggest franchises in the industry would be a huge advantage. If Sony played their cards right this deal could pay for itself in spades.

locomorales11d ago

Seems like a rumor to sell short.

RememberThe35711d ago

That's so vague, but that basically pulls the rug from under the rumor. Might be true but nothing of substance is actually saying so.

TK-6611d ago

The main thing that convinces me that this is false is that EA at one point made an offer of $1.9 billion to take over T2 and the offer was declined. EA later offered $26 per share and they're currently at $130 per share so part of this seems completely unbelievable. I'm willing to be proven wrong but for now I call BS.

Lilrizky11d ago

judging by their track record, i wouldnt let EA buy me. I'd seriously consider a bid from Sony though.

Mr_Writer8511d ago (Edited 11d ago )

Sw33

I agree it's very likely to be BS. But Sony are more than just PlayStation.

I'm not 100% clear on how all this works, but if the board of take two stayed with the company they would have the opportunity to move within Sony.

Film, TV, Music, Electronics, and a few other things.

Where as with EA the chance to move and progress would be limited in comparison.

DaDrunkenJester11d ago (Edited 11d ago )

Listen, back in September 2018 it was reported that the Sony Playstation division had roughly 2.5billion in operating income... I HIGHLY doubt that buying T2 is within their budget. All of Sony is at about 50 billion or so and I can't imagine T2 selling for under 10billion at the LEAST.

There is just no way.

" However, from the period of October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018, Nintendo’s operating income was about $1.8 billion. Sony’s operating income from its game division was about $2.5 billion. Total operating income across all divisions for Sony was $7.3 billion." And that is just operating income, not net.

https://www.dfcint.com/doss...

Sony net worth as of March 12, 2019 is $58.52B.
https://www.macrotrends.net...

But that is ALL of Sony.

Take-Two Interactive Software net worth as of March 12, 2019 is $10.17B.
https://www.macrotrends.net...

Edit: added a bunch of info and link.

kneon11d ago (Edited 11d ago )

Sony has about $25 billion in cash and marketable securities available. With an offer price of $130 per share that would cost them about $14.6 billion. So they can afford it if they really believe this is important enough. But they don't have to buy it all at once. They can take controlling ownership of the company with less than $7.5 billion.

With Google and Amazon looking to move more into the gaming industry it could be a good defensive move to lock up some of the biggest franchises in gaming. Imagine if the next GTA, RDR and Bioshock where all Playstation exclusives, what hope would Microsoft have then?

Google, Amazon, Facebook etc. can easily afford to buy EA or Activision, but those would be a real stretch for Sony, it would likely need to be in the form of a merger instead of a straight buyout.

rainslacker11d ago

They wouldn't have to buy all the shares of T2 to "buy" the company. Unless they intend to not keep it traded publicly, but those shares left from those that didn't sell controlling interest would either be brought out, or transferred to Sony's shares.

Sony does have quite a bit of cash to play with right now, and they have other assets which can be used to secure a purchase beyond what they could afford right out.

DaDrunkenJester10d ago

@kneon

Do you have a source for this $25 billion dollars in cash? I mean maybe Sony as a WHOLE yes, but not the gaming division alone. Regardless, they would have to spend over half of their $25 billion just to purchase this one company and they also have movies to fund and games to develop.

But you're correct, and I didn't think about it, but yeah they don't need to buy out the entire company, just majority shares.

It will be very interesting if this rumors amounts to anything.

Dlacy13g10d ago

OFFICIALLY FAKE - https://comicbook.com/gamin...

Sony told VentureBeat that it doesn't "know where the rumor is coming from, but there is no such plan."

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 10d ago
King_Noctis11d ago

I don’t think Sony has the cash to purchase T2 though.

phoenixwing11d ago (Edited 11d ago )

the first thing i said when i saw the title was "No way!". If it is true I will be glad to be proven wrong. The CEO's at take 2 have been in the news before and i'm sure they'd make a very shrewd attempt at getting a ridiculous sum to be bought out before it's all said and done. Also the main reason EA and other publishers of this nature never get bought out is because most of their money/value lies in being multi-platform. However, I'd love it if sony owned them they're class when it comes to treating developers well.

rainslacker11d ago

I'm skeptical, but stocks don't jump almost 5% based on unsubstantiated rumors. There has to be some weight behind them. The rumor itself may not be as deep as was provided by the securities firm here, which is why they're still classified as rumors.

There's some back channel stuff going on though. It may not be a buyout though.

A buyout of T2 would be rather industry shaking news. I also wonder if Sony would keep them autonomous or delegate them to a 1st party. The latter seems less likely, given that much of the worth of T2 is based on their sales across multiple platforms. Could be that Sony is just looking at purchasing some devs from the publisher, which would be much cheaper, and even more probable.

Lots of shake ups going around in the industry right now. MS buying out studios. Google with an unknown announcement for their entrance into the gaming industry. Jade Raymond going to Google. Now, this rumor. The lead up to next gen is going to be quite interesting to say the least.

Lilrizky11d ago

not that this relates at all but remember when nintendo shares soared because they thought they owned pokemon GO or something like that? lol

Seraphim11d ago

Take Two was steadily rumored to be sold or taken over approx a decade ago. For years there was talk about other companies buying or a hostile take over. At the time Take 2 fended off the wolves. However they just don't have the cash flow to sustain making costly and quality titles such as GTA & Red Dead. NBA 2k probably does well annually in MTs but likely isn't that big of a seller. Maybe GTA pulls in some weight with it's MTs too but that is likely declining atm and far past it's peak. I don't think they're in as bad of a position as they were years ago but still, nothing would surprise me regarding their future. At this point I would take this info with a grain of salt though.

Veneno11d ago

The scuttlebut is that RDR online isn't the gold mine that the stockholders wanted it to be a la GTA 5 so they are abandoning ship which would make it a good opportunity for someone to buy Take 2 at a reasonable price!

Lilrizky11d ago

putting the MTs aside doesnt the actual game still chart like every month?

WelkinCole11d ago

It would be a very bad investment for Sony if true. Take popular franchise like GTA and then limit the number of sales it would get with just Sony platforms

However if they allowed it to still be MP then that might work but then I don't see the point in doing that if it were not exclusive

Better for Sony to hire small but promising devs and then buy them out if they do really good

conanlifts11d ago

I would say it could be risky, but not a bad investment. GTA being exclusive would drive sales of Sony consoles, so they would increase their customer base in response. In addition we need to factor in what Google are doing. Sony need to ensure they stay ahead and this is a way to make that happen. If google decide to take gaming seriously then it would pressure Sony's most profitable division. They might just take the leap to ensure it doesn't happen.

Also look at games like Red dead redemption 2. Around 14 million copies sold and the majority on PS4.

Veneno11d ago

It could still be quite profitable just not the way it was before. If they keep their expectations reasonable they can still see a sizeable return. It would make the PlayStation brand stronger.

jivah11d ago

Im more concerned with what games we can possibly see. Happily take a new rebooted version of some of their older games. Smugglers Run or Oni would be cool. What would happen with Oblivion? People forget that Oblivion was a Take2 game as well. And maybe we can see something done with Manhunt and Agent can possibly resurface as well.

itsmebryan11d ago

Why did I get a down vote for giving accurate info with a link to back it up?

porkChop10d ago

You're getting downvotes because the children on this site so desperately wanted this to be true. It was a ridiculous rumour with no basis in reality.

Ceaser985736111d ago (Edited 11d ago )

I so what this but its FAKE
This is like that MS in talks to buying EA

DrumBeat11d ago

Agreed. I just don't see such an acquisition happening.

Bane3511d ago

Yeah im pretty sure its not true because sony would have to kick out alot of money like Microsoft did with Minecraft

10d ago
+ Show (11) more repliesLast reply 10d ago
milohighclub11d ago (Edited 11d ago )

Sony couldn't afford xD if they could tho... 👍

darthv7211d ago

I know MS could, hell they could buy Sony AND Nintendo but neither are up for sale. Maybe this is to spark a bidding war to get MS to shell out the big $$ for T2. Would MS be interested though...?

Inzo11d ago

MS cant afford Sony, the days of MS being the biggest company in the world are long gone, hek MS isnt even in the top 20 anymore. Maybe Samsung can buy them some day.

Zeref11d ago (Edited 11d ago )

@Inzo?

Lmfao, are you serious?

They are literally neck and neck with Apple and Amazon for most valuable company in the world?

What rock have you been living under?
Did you travel here from a different dimension?

https://fxssi.com/top-10-mo...

Microsoft could buy Nintendo and Sony with their pocket change.

Atom66611d ago

There were rumors that Apple was looking last year too, but it was all speculation.

The problem is T2, EA, Activision, etc., make their money because they're multiplat. If they go 1st party, they're cutting off so much revenue. Now maybe it's feasible if they stay open to PS AND PC, but even then you're really going to have a long wait for a return with any of them.

The updates are saying that it's pretty baseless rumor, but we'll see. If Sony is willing to pay that kind of premium, I'd say we should all hurry up and buy some shares.

conanlifts11d ago (Edited 11d ago )

@Inzo, just for info MS have an annual operating revenue of over $100billion and as a company are valued around $800 billion.

https://www.macroaxis.com/i...

Sony have a market value around 58 billion, take two 9.5 billion. It would be a huge move, but Sony could probably buy take two.

rainslacker11d ago

If T2 was really up for sale, MS could certainly make a counter-bid. but getting into a bidding war also has the potential to drive the shares up well beyond what the company is worth.

T2 would be a major get for any publisher though, and I don't see why MS wouldn't be interested. However, it's still a significant amount of money to spend, and it may be that the board isn't willing to invest that kind of money, especially since MS future seems to be aimed at moving away from the games that give T2 most of their worth....with the exception of 2K games.

That said, it seems like a purchase of that nature would be more reasonable if it was going to keep the company autonomous. Kind of like how Sega handled Atlus. Making it a 1st party dev would significantly reduce the value of the brands that T2 owns.

Inzo11d ago

@Zeref

Lmfao!!!! are you serious???

What rock have you been living under?
This isnt the 90's, you know

MS cant afford Sony but like I said maybe Samsung can buy MS.
Oh and thanks for giving me the companies "value" so next time I want to acquire MS I'll know exact what amount to offer them. Perhaps you should try Forbes or Time or Reuters.

Father__Merrin11d ago

Mi rosoft xbox business is pittance for Microsoft. Share holders in the past have even said for it to be sold off.

nowitzki200411d ago

Someone will buy Xbox brand from MS before anyone buys Sony

steven83r10d ago

Ya that's all we need now, MS to buy T2 so it could do what it did to RARE, Ruin it.

cigi10d ago

@Inzo

Just do a search... I think you would like it.

Following are the companies whose marketing capital is the largest in the whole world in 2019.

•Microsoft.
•Amazon.
•Facebook.
•Berkshire Hathaway.
•Johnson & Johnson.
•JPMorgan Chase.
•Wells Fargo.
•Tencent.

Kryptix10d ago

Microsoft can't even buy their own way to making the Xbox an attractive console.

+ Show (8) more repliesLast reply 10d ago
Sly0511d ago

I agree GTA4 timed DLC was $500ml the whole of T2 would be billions and Sony doesn't have that money.

Apple/Amazon/Google/MS maybe but not Sony.

Notellin11d ago

Corporate acquisitions are often completed with credit. You don't have to have all the cash up front that's not how these deals work.

RosweeSon11d ago

Tell me apart from PS3 when have Sony released a home console that clears 100 million consoles sold and yes PS4 will be next 100 million consoles sold 3X all sold at a profit billions of games across the generations. PlayStation plus subscriptions... we better start a go fund me page for Sony they must be skint 😑🤦🏻‍♂️ 😜

Michiel198911d ago

@RosweeSon Sony is not the all around giant they used to be. They sold several divisions over the last 2 decades. Yes they are the juggernaut when it comes to gaming, but they arent like they were 25 years ago where you saw several sony products in a lot of households.

Saigon11d ago

I think some of you all forget that Sony doesn't just make electronics. They have financial institutions. They have several movie studios across the board that does well. They have TV shows. They make music, own rights to several artists as well as music. They own several online businesses. Just to understand, there are over 1200 companies that make-up Sony. Sony makes a good buck.

conanlifts11d ago

They don't need the money, they just need to be able to raise the capital investment needed. They could do it through loans, stocks, further investment from members or external sources etc.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 11d ago
locomorales11d ago

Sony maket cap is 60bi. Take 2 Interactive is 8.9bi right now. It's possible but it's not likely.

Wulfer11d ago (Edited 11d ago )

RosweeSon,
Microsoft's quarterly Revenue is 30 billion, what's your point?

RememberThe35711d ago

Not who's dick is bigger, that's for sure. The story/comment is that about MS.

RosweeSon11d ago

Sony can afford are you mental they makes billions per year through PlayStation alone well forget the TVs laptops phone oh and the little thing called big silver screens (cinemas) where movies can often clear a billion at box office. Ps+ subscriptions alone are worth a billion. £40+ a year X 30 million plus adds up.

Hurfs11d ago

Sony has around 24b in cash as of Jan 2019, Take two has a market value of just under 10b but this would rise if take over or buy out rumours turn out to be true. Sony could buy them it has the cash but the cost could leave Sony exposed if say PS5 does not do as well as PS4 has. My self I think there are better Devs/company's Sony could go after then take two.

Gibreel8711d ago

People seem to have no clue how acquisitions are being done. Right now Take 2 is owned by a single guy and his company, because he bought 51 percent of their shares, his name? Strauss Zelnick. Yup, their CEO is basically the owner.

Long time ago (2008) EA wanted to buy Take two... For 1.9 billion, it sounds alot but it isn't, last year sony Paid 2.2 billion dollars for music publisher EMI. If you think sony can't afford to buy 51% shares of a company but a single rich CEO can, than you are absolutely mistaking.

Me personally I don't think the rumor is true, but sony could if they wanted and Take 2 agreed.

porkChop11d ago

Sony itself bought EMI, but that was only $2.2B. Take-Two's enterprise value is over $7B, the market cap is over $10B. The PlayStation division does not have that much money, PlayStation just cannot afford to buy Take-Two. Sony itself has the money, but they likely couldn't afford to drop that much money in one acquisition. It's just too big of a deal.

rainslacker11d ago (Edited 11d ago )

@Pork

An acquisition of this size wouldn't be done by SIE, which is a seperate company, but still has a budget assigned by the parent company. Just like the Xbox Division(or what MS calls their devices division) don't make acquisitions like that. They're facilitated through the parent company. That's what happened with Minecraft. Even when Sony buys these developers, they aren't budgeted that money to do so, they're purchased by board decisions and SIE doesn't have a board. There is no way that Sony would just hand over 10 billion, or even $50-100 million just to acquire a new studio or developer to SIE directly, because that is well beyond the scope of SIE. Sony proper would buy the publisher, and either keep it autonomous, or fold it into it's own publishing house.

When it comes to the price of the shares now making the company worth 14 billion, that cost isn't what Sony would have to pay out. Even half of that is unlikely. The guy they're buying out gets to decide how much he wants to sell it for. The shares rise because there's usually a surge in buying when a company is being brought out, so the other 49% want to get more. The majority shareholder could sell the whole 51% for a penny if he so desired. Hell, he could give them away for free. Likely, he isn't interested in breaking up the controlling share, as that would cause shares to plummet as everyone wanted to bail because it seemed things were not going well. Likely, the offering or negotiated price is going to be a bit more than the shares were worth when Sony started the negotiation.

Gibreel8711d ago

@Pork chop No it's a rumor about Sony buying Take two... No one knows how they would go on about it. And for the last time buying 51%of the shares would be enough to make them de facto owners wether you like it or not. EA was about to buy Take 2 for 1.9 billion in 2008 and 10 years later they are 10 billion dollars worth... You need a reality check...

Gibreel8711d ago (Edited 11d ago )

@Pork chop AGAIN I don't think you know how acquisitions are made. Sony only needs to buy 51% of Take 2 shares and they are way less worth than 10 Billion dollars. Again, those shares are in possession of a single guy.... Again what makes you think a Conglomerate can't buy them if a single guy can?

porkChop11d ago (Edited 11d ago )

You're talking about a controlling stake. This isn't about Sony buying a controlling stake, it's about them buying out Take-Two altogether. That requires they buy out all shares and outstanding debts.

As someone else pointed out, $130 per share would be over $14B. This isn't happening.

kayoss11d ago

Why people keep saying MS could buy this and that?? MS and Xbox are two different divisions. Sure MS can shell out the money if needed to but Xbox needs to have a damning justification to convince MS to shell out the money. If you look at xbox situation, they are about to come in 3rd again and their software sales are not doing that well compared to the PS4

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-Foxtrot11d ago

I...really...REALLY can not see this happening. Little far fetched.

I mean the properties that would give Sony is insane

BioShock
Borderlands
Bully
Civilization
Grand Theft Auto
L.A Noire
Mafia
Manhunt
Max Payne
Midnight Club
MLB 2K
NBA 2K
Red Dead
WWE 2K
XCOM

I just can't see it happening, there's no way.

Sly0511d ago

Seems overkill if Sony did buy them they have enough first party games as it is.

-Foxtrot11d ago

What would happen to Civilization and XCOM aswell? You can't rob the PC community with those games, they work best on the platform aswell.

If it did happen, HYPOTHETICAL, then they'd have to let those games continue to be on PC aswell.

RosweeSon11d ago

But what’s a few more, a really good one at the games would come out anyway but if they exclusive awesome I’ll be PlayStation for the forseeable if this was last Gen 360 era Microsoft would have been trying the same they bought up exclusives left right and centre this Gen they not bothered... they’ve bought some devs tho.. still no signs of any games there’s always next Gen tho

Michiel198911d ago

@foxtrot I wouldnt mind civilization revolution 2, thought the 1st one was really good despite some issues with the game. Civ and xcom will still play best on pc though. If they still had SOE we migt have seen an xccom mmo or something which they would propabbly run into the ground hehe.

ILostMyMind11d ago

@-Foxtrot
This is, supposedly, the latest generation of consoles. Sony may be preparing to hit PCs in the future.