Take-Two Interactive, maker of “Grand Theft Auto” and “Red Dead Redemption,” is buying Zynga, maker of “FarmVille” and “Words With Friends,” in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $12.7 billion, Associated Press reports.
According to the report, the acquisition by Grand Theft Auto announced Monday would wed a powerhouse in console gaming, Take-Two, with a mobile gaming company with an almost cult-like following.
Zynga shareholders will receive $3.50 in cash and $6.36 in shares of Take-Two common stock for each share of Zynga outstanding stock at closing. The transaction is valued at $9.86 per share of Zynga common stock.
“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,” Take-Two Chairman and CEO Strauss Zelnick said in a prepared statement. He will retain those roles when the companies become one.
Take-Two anticipates the deal will help bring about mobile versions of some of its console and personal computer-based games.
Zynga CEO Frank Gibeau and its president of publishing, Bernard Kim, will oversee the integration and day-to-day operations of the combined Zynga and T2 Mobile Games business, which will operate under the Zynga brand as its own label within the Take-Two.
Take-Two will also expand its board to 10 members upon closing, adding two members from Zynga’s board.
The transaction includes a go-shop provision, giving Zynga 45 days to hear alternative proposals.
The deal is expected to close during the first quarter of Take-Two’s fiscal 2023, ending June 30. It still needs approval of both Take-Two and Zynga stockholders. It has received approval from both companies’ boards.
Shares of Zynga Inc., based in San Francisco, jumped 52.5% to $9.15. Shares of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., based in New York City, fell 8.7% to $150.25.