Grand Theft Auto maker buys FarmVille company in $12.7B deal

<p><p>Take-Two Interactive, maker of “Grand Theft Auto” and “Red Dead Redemption,” is buying Zynga, maker of “FarmVille” and “Words With Friends,” in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $12.7 billion.</p></p><p><p>The acquisition announced Monday would wed a powerhouse in console gaming, Take-Two, with a mobile gaming company with an almost cult-like following.</p></p><p><p>Zynga shareholders will receive $3.50 in cash and $6.36 in shares of Take-Two common stock for each share of Zynga outstanding stock at closing.</p></p><p><p>The transaction is valued at $9.86 per share of Zynga common stock.</p></p><p><p>“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.</p></p><p><p>He will retain those roles when the companies become one.</p></p><p><p>Take-Two anticipates the deal will help bring about mobile versions of some of its console and personal computer based games.</p></p><p><p>Take-Two said Monday it anticipates approximately $100 million in annual cost savings within the first two years after the transaction is complete.</p></p><p><p>Zynga CEO Frank Gibeau and its president of publishing, Bernard Kim, will oversee the integration and day-to-day operations of the combined Zynga and T2 Mobile Games business, which will operate under the Zynga brand as its own label within the Take-Two.</p></p><p><p>Take-Two will also expand its board to 10 members upon closing, adding two members from Zynga’s board.</p></p><p><p>The transaction includes a go-shop provision, giving Zynga 45 days to hear alternative proposals.</p></p><p><p>The deal is expected to close during the first quarter of Take-Two’s fiscal 2023, ending June 30.</p></p><p><p>It still needs approval of both Take-Two and Zynga stockholders. It has received approval from both companies’ boards.</p></p><p><p>Shares of Zynga Inc., based in San Francisco, jumped 52.5% to $9.15. Shares of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., based in New York City, fell 8.7% to $150.25.</p></p>