Take-Two Interactive to buy Zynga in $12.7bn deal

Grand Theft Auto maker Take-Two Interactive has agreed to buy Zynga in a $12.7bn deal.

Under the terms of the agreement, Take-Two will pay $9.86 per Zynga share. Zynga stockholders will receive $3.50 in cash and $6.36 in shares of Take-Two common stock for each of their shares. This represents a premium of 64% to Zynga’s closing share price on Friday.

Take-Two chairman and chief executive Strauss Zelnick said: “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.

“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. Zynga also has a highly talented and deeply experienced team, and we look forward to welcoming them into the Take-Two family in the coming months. As we combine our complementary businesses and operate at a much larger scale, we believe that we will deliver significant value to both sets of stockholders, including $100m of annual cost synergies within the first two years post-closing and at least $500m of annual net bookings opportunities over time.”

Zynga has a diverse portfolio of game franchises that have been downloaded more than four billion times on mobile including CSR Racing, FarmVille, Golf Rival, and Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells.

Zynga shares rocketed on the news and by 1330 GMT, were up a whopping 50% in pre-market trade at $9.00.

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