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Take-Two staying solo, stock takes hit*

October 2, 2008 | 10:30 am

Grand Theft Auto IV This post has been updated with today's closing stock price.

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After dismissing Electronic Arts' takeover attempts, Take-Two Interactive Software, publisher of the Grand Theft Auto video game series, said this morning that it had decided to remain an independent company.

The decision concludes a "strategic review" the New York-based game publisher initiated following the unsolicited $2-billion offer from EA. After being repeatedly rebuffed, EA walked last month.

Since stepping away from the table, Take-Two's stock has fallen by nearly a third from its highs earlier this year. Its shares spiked from $17.36 to $26.89 on Feb. 25, the day after EA announced its bid, and topped out at $27.65 on June 5. The stock today dropped $1.07, or 6.7%, to $14.86.

Take-Two said in a statement that it had engaged in "detailed discussions with various interested parties," but decided against a merger. Chief Executive Ben Feder noted that the company was in good financial shape with no debt and an undrawn credit facility of $140 million. It also had $338.7 million in cash and cash equivalents at the end of July, up from $77.8 million at the end of October 2007. The lion's share of the uptick came from the blockbuster launch of Grand Theft Auto IV in April.

-- Alex Pham

Image by Take-Two Interactive Software

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