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Take-Two Interactive to acquire Zynga at valuation of $12.7 billion

Take-Two hopes to become a leader in the mobile space.

Take-Two Interactive will acquire and combine with mobile publisher Zynga to create one of the largest publicly traded interactive entertainment companies in the world.

The deal will see Take-Two purchase all outstanding Zynga shares for a total value of $9.86 per share, comprising $3.50 in cash and $6.36 in shares of Take-Two common stock.

The transaction places an enterprise value of $12.7 billion on Zynga, and represents a 64 percent premium to Zynga's closing share price on January 7, 2022.

In a press release, Take-Two said the move "unifies two global leaders in the interactive entertainment business," and will cement its place as "one of the largest and most diversified mobile game publishers in the industry."

Take-Two is known for working on major franchises including Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, NBA 2K, and Borderlands through its various studios and publishing labels. Following the Zynga deal, the U.S. company will bolster its portfolio with the addition of mobile titles like CSR Racing, Empires & Puzzles, Words with Friends, FarmVille, and Zynga Poker.

Strauss Zelnick, chairman and CEO of Take-Two, said the addition of those titles will allow the company to establish itself as a leader in the mobile space.

"We are thrilled to announce our transformative transaction with Zynga, which significantly diversifies our business and establishes our leadership position in mobile, the fastest growing segment of the interactive entertainment industry," commented Zelnick.

"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."

The existing management team of Take-Two is expected to continue leading the combined company moving forward, with Zelnick staying on as chairman and CEO.

Zynga CEO Frank Gibeau will be tasked with driving the strategic direction of Take-Two's mobile efforts, and will oversee the integration and day-to-day operations of the combined Zynga and T2 Mobile Game business, which will operate under the Zynga brand as its own label.

Upon the closing of the transaction, which is expected to be completed during the first quarter of FY23, Take-Two will expand its board of directors to 10 members and bring two Zynga board members into the fold.

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