Electronic Arts' $2 billion bid for "Grand Theft Auto" maker Take-Two Interactive turned hostile Thursday as EA took its $26-a-share offer...

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NEW YORK — Electronic Arts’ $2 billion bid for “Grand Theft Auto” maker Take-Two Interactive turned hostile Thursday as EA took its $26-a-share offer directly to Take-Two shareholders.

The tender offer expires April 11, more than two weeks before the latest “Grand Theft Auto” version hits stores.

The wildly popular series has sold 65 million copies and is considered one of the most successful video games in history.

It’s also Take-Two’s main source of revenue, projected to make up to $1.4 billion this fiscal year.

New York-based Take-Two has consistently rejected the bid since late February, calling it the wrong price at the wrong time.

Its board Thursday asked shareholders to wait 10 days while it reviews the offer.

Analysts have said the offer may increase, but likely not above $27.

Even the $26 bid was nearly 50 percent above Take-Two’s stock price before Electronic Arts’ offer became public Feb. 24.

Take-Two has said the offer doesn’t value the company’s creative talents — most notably “Grand Theft Auto” creator Rockstar Games — and its management’s turnaround efforts.

Chairman Strauss Zelnick and CEO Ben Feder took Take-Two’s helm last spring after a shareholder coup ousted top executives and most of its board over poor financials and legal troubles.

Take-Two’s shares rose 73 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $25.64. EA’s shares climbed 3 cents to $47.26.