The two largest shareholders in Take-Two Interactive have reduced their stakes in the publisher and owner of Grand Theft Auto
developer Rockstar Games, as an apparent further example of shareholder unrest following EA’s proposed takeover.
Take-Two’s biggest shareholder, U.S. based mutual fund company Oppenheimer Funds, cut its share holdings from 23 percent to 11.5 percent on Monday. At the same time FMR LLC, parent company for the Fidelity mutual funds, has dropped its stake, previously the second largest of all Take-Two’s investors, from 14.7 percent to 2.75 percent.
Neither company has commented on the reasons for the sale, although analysts are linking it with concern over Take-Two’s handling of the proposed takeover by Electronic Arts.
"To the extent there was speculation that shareholders would band together and hold out for more money from EA, that's kind of shot down now," said Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter in a Reuters interview
Take-Two executives had previously declined the $1.9 billion acquisition offer from Electronics Arts, claiming that it undervalued the company. Although chairman Strauss Zelnick has indicated that he is happy to further discuss the possibility of a takeover after the release of Grand Theft Auto IV
, he also recently indicated in an interview that he saw Take-Two’s future as that of an independent company