Viacom to buy Take Two?


It will come as zero surprise to anyone who reads this blog that Viacom are heavily rumoured to be about to buy Take Two.

Viacom  is one of a handful of massive global media groups that are piling into gaming because they can see that it is inevitable that gaming will grow to be bigger than many of the traditional medias. Viacom have a turnover exceeding $11 billion per year. They own Paramount, DreamWorks, MTV and much more. On the gaming side they own Xfire, Harmonix, Game Trailers, Neopets and are currently investing $500 million into gaming via their MTV brand.

Viacom, CBS and Midway Games are majority owned by National Amusements, which is 80% owned by Sumner Redstone (the 86th richest man in the world, worth $9 billion) and 20% by his daughter Shari. So all together the Redstone family already have a considerable interest in gaming.

Take Two are a global video game publisher with a turnover of around $300 million. Famously they own Rockstar and thus the Grand Theft Auto (GTA) franchise, one of the biggest earners in the whole industry. However as a company they failed to capitalise on the opportunities that the GTA income brought them. So in March 2007 the shareholders kicked six members off the board. The new CEO, Ben Feder, has done a lot to get Take Two working properly again. One area where Take Two does have strength is in sports games with it’s 2K Sports brand which is second only to EA in this genre.

The rumored offer values Take Two at $1.5 billion, a 30% premium over last night’s share price.

Amongst all this consolidation there is one huge glaring question, what is News Corporation going to do and when? Rupert Murdoch is a fabled corporate raider, he knows that he has no option but to get into gaming, but if he waits much longer all the best pickings will be gone.

1 Comment

  1. Why not buy Sega?

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