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Take-Two Secures $100M Credit Facility

9 Jul, 2007 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., publisher of the lucrative “Grand Theft Auto” video game franchise, July 9 said it had secured a five-year $100 million credit facility with Wells Fargo Foothill Inc.

The funding comes at the conclusion of a 100-day company-induced housecleaning designed to reduce overhead costs by 25% annually by the end of fiscal 2008 and restore credibility to the New York-based video game publisher after a rash of bad press.

Last month, British and Irish authorities banned the release of video game Manhunt 2, citing excessive violence and a gruesome story line in the sequel to the 2003 original, Manhunt.

The ban resulted in Take-Two indefinitely suspending the July 10 release of the title in the United States.

“We're dealing with the challenging rating development in a professional and highly focused manner,” said Seth Krauss, EVP and general counsel, in an investor call. “We are determined to bring Manhunt 2 to our consumers.”

Created by Rockstar Games, Manhunt 2 was to be released for Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 2 and Nintendo Co.'s Wii systems, exclusively.

Following the 2004 release of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Take-Two was hit with multiple legal complaints alleging manufacturers had failed to properly disclose the presence of pornographic content in the game.

In March, company investors ousted six of eight board members, including CEO Paul Eibeler.

New CEO Ben Feder said an internal review committee had been established with Rockstar to better determine the marketability, among other issues, of game titles going forward.

“The committee will meet on a periodic basis to review progress and refine our assumptions and expectations,” Feder said. “We believe this process will improve the competitiveness and profitability of our titles by ensuring that we invest in only the best opportunities.”

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