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Take-Two Creates EA Buyout Severance Plan

Take-Two has reportedly created a severance plan to take care of employees who may be laid off in the event of an acquisition, following Electronic Arts' $1.9 billion buyout offer, a move apparently geared to alleviate employee anxiety ahead of the crucia
Take-Two has reportedly created a severance plan to take care of employees who may be laid off in the event of an acquisition, following Electronic Arts' $1.9 billion buyout offer. According to Reuters' report, an SEC filing shows that the plan would give executives up to 1.5 times their salary and bonus for 18 months if they are fired without cause within a year of a change of company control. The filing also shows six months' severance pay for non-executive employees. Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick, CEO Ben Feder, and other top executives are covered under a separate management agreement, Reuters says. Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey commented to the news agency, "[EA's] bid probably created fairly large internal disruption and without a severance plan, employees are worried about losing their jobs. They want to keep people focused and give them some sort of support." The company is likely focused at the moment on the April 30 launch of Rockstar-developed Grand Theft Auto IV, the next-gen debut of one of the company's flagship franchises. Zelnick has said that Take-Two will re-initiate buyout discussions with EA after the title's launch, while EA CEO John Riccitiello has stressed the time sensitivity of the offer.

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