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Coup at Take-Two and dirty stock backdating

Filed under: General Gaming
Posted by Jeremy on March 8, 2007 10:00 AM
Comments (0) |

The shite has hit the fan at Take-Two, maker of "Grand Theft Auto," "Manhunt," and "Bully".

A quick recap: Take-Two has been under a cloud of investigation for several years from the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) due to irregular accounting practices and options backdating.


In fact, last month, former Take-Two CEO Ryan Brant plead guilty to charges that he manipulated the granting of stock options.

Yesterday, word trickled out that a coalition of shareholders representing 46% ownership of the company has decided to oust Take-Two's board of directors.

More about the coup and how 9/11 fits in...

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News of the take over led to a surge in the stock price as investors and analysts felt this move would bring some stability to the chronically mismanaged company.

Obviously, this is good news for Take-Two investors, but I still wouldn't put my money near it due to the fact that Take-Two is pretty much a one-trick pony with "Grand Theft Auto".

Although the series is among the biggest in video game history, it's getting worn out and has a lot of competition from games like "Crackdown" and "Saint's Row".

The other promising game they had recently was "Bully", which I thought was a wonderful game, but didn't quite meet sales expectations.

Getting back to the stock options, though, Take-Two couldn't have done it any dirtier. According to various reports, including this one from GamePolitics, Take-Two is one of several companies that used the post 9/11 stock market plunge as the date for their options backdating.

Translation: give execs the option to buy the stock at a very low price due to 9/11 so that they could sell them later for a huge profit. As Mr. Welch so famously said to Sen. McCarthy, "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"






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