Take-Two's share buyback sees full Icahn exit
On Tuesday, Take-Two Interactive Software Inc said it had launched a share buyback program to acquire all of its shares that was owned by billionaire and activist investor Carl Icahn. The stock buyback would have the video game publisher known for its Grand Theft Auto game shell out USD203.5 million from its cash and cash equivalents to acquire 12.02 million of its shares back from Icahn. The transaction was expected to be finalized on Tuesday.
With its headquarters in New York, Take-two was founded by Ryan Brant in 1993, and grew to be a multinational publisher, developer, and distributor of video game peripherals and video games. It has two subsidiaries under its organization, which are Rockstar Games and 2K Games.
Take-Two said in its statement that it had acquired its stake back from Icahn using Monday's closing price of USD16.93 per share as price point reference. The acquisition price reflected confidence of Take-Two in its goal to report record results in its 2014 fiscal year and continuous non-GAAP profitability annually for the foreseeable future. GAAP means generally-accepted accounting principles.
Take-Two said that LionTree Advisors and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP acted as advisors for its stock buyback program.
Moreover, the three board directors that had been nominated by Icahn resigned, said Take-Two. Brett Icahn, who is the elder Icahn's son, Jim Nelson and SungHwan Cho were said to have left Take-Two's company board. In an earlier agreement, Icahn's board designees will be resigning from the company board at Take-Two should Icahn sell his position in the video game publisher.
A year ago. Icahn reportedly increased his stake in Take-two from 11.69% to 12.9% when the video game publihser's stocks were trading at below USD12 per share. In August, Take-Two's stocks traded at USD19.25 per share, which was the company's record high in the last five years.
Before the market opened on Tuesday, shares of the video game publisher were down 5.5% at USD16 per share at premarket trading.