Take-Two to buy Farmville creator Zynga for US$12.7b

The headquarters of online game-maker Zynga in San Francisco. — AFP pic
The headquarters of online game-maker Zynga in San Francisco. — AFP pic

NEW YORK, Jan 10 — Video game publisher Take-Two announced today it reached a deal to acquire Farmville creator Zynga for US$12.7 billion (RM53 billion), in a major mobile gaming push by the maker of Grand Theft Auto.

The merger brings Take-Two, a leader in console and personal computing games, together with a company with strength in interactive games played on mobile devices, such as Farmville, which first became a phenomenon in the 2010s on Facebook.

The deal comes as Take-Two plans more smart phone versions of its games, which also include Red Dead Redemption and NBA2K.

“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,” Take-Two Chief Executive Strauss Zelnick said in a statement.

The transaction prices Zynga at US$9.86 per share, a 64 per cent premium on the Friday’s share price.

About one-third of the payment will be in cash and the rest in Take-Two shares.

Zelnick is set to lead the combined company, with Zynga’s team led by Chief Executive Frank Gibeau and Bernard Kim, president of publishing, overseeing the combined company’s mobile gaming efforts.

New York-based Take-Two had revenues of US$3.4 billion at the end of its last fiscal year and just shy of 5,100 employees. San Francisco-based Zynga had revenues of US$2.0 billion and about 3,000 employees.

Zynga shares soared nearly 50 per cent on the Nasdaq in electronic trading before the opening bell on Wall Street, while shares of Take-Two fell by 10.5 per cent. — AFP

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