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Riccitiello: "We don't anticipate closing the deal before GTA ships"

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EA CEO John Riccitiello has said he doesn't see any takeover of Take-Two happening before GTA IV hits worldwide on April 29, and has called out Take-Two boss Strauss Zelnick's call that EA is trying to take opportunity of the impending release of Rockstar's crime title as a "red herring".

"I think the value of GTA is already 'baked in' in many ways," he said. "The analysts that are forecasting Take-Two for just their fiscal year have between 8 million and 12 million units of GTA IV forecast. Frankly, the question is what comes after GTA, because that's already in the value of the stock. Realistically, we don't anticipate closing the deal before GTA ships. We're anticipating a transaction that would close certainly not before the GTA launch, so that feels very much like a red herring to me."

Riccitiello also said that he's "very confident in this transaction. We think it's a great deal for their shareholders, it's at a huge premium. And as a stand-alone company, Take-Two has a series of operational and scale issues, legal issues, financial issues… We think their shareholders win in a huge way."

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