Sony to buy Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar Games claim rumours

Could GTA become a PlayStation exclusive?

Financial sources claim that Sony are in ‘advanced board level discussions’ to buy the parent Rockstar, but is it really true?

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Rather than the usual dataminers or age rating board leaks this rumour comes from unnamed financial sources, which has been enough to see shares in Take-Two jump by 6.8%.

The exact source of the rumours is unknown but the story was first reported by website MarketWatch. Their short paragraph of news has been updated multiple times but originally stated that Sony, ‘is in advanced board level discussions to acquire Take-Two Interactive in a mostly cash deal’.

That detail, along with a share price value of $130, has since been removed but the story still references Joel Kulina, head of technology and media trading at Wedbush Securities.

Website contacted Kulina, who denied being the source of the rumours.

‘This is purely unconfirmed market speculation that is making the rounds,’ said Kulina. ‘I am not the source of this story in any regard. And not sure who quoted me as I didn’t speak with anyone over the phone (unless someone saw a trading note that I wrote).’

The note in question has no sources, which creates the strong possibility that the whole story is entirely fictional. Although, as pointed out by MarketWatch, Take-Two’s shares had seen a sharp rise before they published their story – suggesting there were plenty of people who believed the rumours to be true before the news went public.

Despite the enormous success of everything Rockstar does that hasn’t always reflected on parent company Take-Two, who has often struggled to maintain any major hits of its own – although in recent years it has done very well with the NBA 2K sports titles.

As a result, EA attempted to buy Take-Two back in 2008, but after seven months of negations decided the asking price was too much.

That was at a time when Take-Two was struggling under a financial scandal amongst many of its execs and suffering disappointing results despite the success of Grand Theft Auto IV.

Today there are no such problems and Take-Two has a market capitalisation of around $10 billion, which would require an offer of around $14 billion to buy them.

Sony as a whole has a market capitalisation (the total market value of a company’s outstanding shares) of around $60 billion, so they’re obviously a much bigger company but it would be an unusually large purchase under normal financial wisdom.

The real question though is why would they even want to buy Take-Two all of a sudden? With the next generation coming up it could something to do with that – perhaps as a way to increase their stable of exclusive games in the face of competing streaming services – but it’s certainly an unexpected move.

But given the lack of provenance behind the rumours there’s also a good chance it’s simply not true.

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