news digest


EA looks to buy Take-Two

SAN FRANCISCO — Electronic Arts said Sunday that it wants to buy Take-Two Interactive, known for its "Grand Theft Auto" game franchise, for about $2 billion in cash. The $26-per-share offer by EA, publisher of blockbuster games like "Madden NFL," represents a 50% premium to Take-Two's closing stock price Friday of $17.36. Take-Two executive chairman Strauss Zelnick said the board would defer any discussions of a takeover until immediately after the release of "Grand Theft Auto IV," slated for April 29. A key question would be whether EA could retain Rockstar, the development studio behind the "GTA" franchise.

Sitrick loses bid to collect $7.7 mil

Public relations guru Michael Sitrick has lost his attempt to collect a $7.7 million judgment he won against Relativity Media head Ryan Kavanaugh more than five years ago. On Friday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Chalfant ruled that Kavanaugh told the truth in 2002 that he was bankrupt when the judgment was handed down. The dispute stems from a $6.2 million venture-capital investment Sitrick made with Kavanaugh's firm in 2001. Sitrick learned a year later that Kavanaugh failed to invest the money in publicly traded companies, as he requested, and instead invested in private startup companies that became worthless. Sitrick, represented by attorney Patty Glaser, said he will appeal the decision.

Williams on the move at News Corp.

NEW YORK — James Murdoch is getting a new finance guru to help him run News Corp.'s European and Asian businesses, which he now oversees. News Corp. on Friday promoted Mark Williams to CFO, Europe and Asia. Based in London, he will start his new job at the end of March, reporting to Murdoch. The company also said that Stephen Daintith, CFO of News International, is moving to New York to become CFO of Dow Jones. Williams will take over Daintith's duties as CFO of News International.