Analyst: Take-Two NOT the New Yahoo, Zelnick Secure at Top

Following the collapse of a proposed merger between Electronic Arts and Take-Two Interactive, GamePolitics wondered aloud yesterday whether Take-Two might be the second coming of Yahoo. That is, a company which should have accepted a reasonable acquisition offer and saw stockholder equity plummet following its rejection.

Analyst Doug Creutz (left) of Cowen and Co. thinks not. Here’s what he told GP when asked if T2 was following in Yahoo’s ill-considered footsteps:

I’d say no. YHOO [Yahoo] is clearly a company in decline, with an entrenched management. TTWO [Take-Two] is a company with arguably improving business fundamentals and a management team that I believe was willing to deal at the right price. I also think that MSFT [Microsoft] shareholders were not excited by the prospect of a YHOO acquisition whereas most ERTS [Electronic Arts] shareholders wanted the TTWO deal to happen at a reasonable price.

Nor did Creutz believe that T2 Chairman Strauss Zelnick was in jeopardy in the wake of EA’s withdrawal from negotiations:

I don’t think so. Any shareholders who wanted to get out of the stock at $26 (EA’s best offer) had ample opportunity. Anyone who was holding out for a higher price feels the same way as Zelnick – no deal at $26. As long as the business turnaround continues then I think Zelnick is safe.

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