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Publishing

Icahn boosts stake in Take Two

* Icahn’s Take Two stake rises to 12.3 pct from 11.3 pct

* Shares purchased in last three days

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Activist investor Carl Icahn upped his stake in struggling video game maker Take Two Interactive Software Inc TTWO.O to 12.3 percent, acquiring more than one million shares during the past three days.

Icahn’s increased stake, reported in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, comes a week after Take Two agreed to nominate three board members selected by Icahn.

Take Two, the publisher of the “Grand Theft Auto” video game franchise, said last week that three of its existing board members would not run for re-election and would be replaced -- if approved by shareholders -- with three Icahn-designated picks, including Icahn’s son, Brett Icahn.

In exchange, Icahn agreed to vote in favor of Take Two’s full slate of nominees, which includes Chairman Strauss Zelnick.

A well-known activist investor, Icahn has agitated for change at companies like Yahoo Inc YHOO.O, Time Warner Inc TWX.N and Imclone Systems.

In December, Icahn disclosed his 11.3 percent stake in Take Two in a filing in which he said the company’s shares were undervalued. The move re-ignited buyout speculation about the money-losing Take Two, which has been hamstrung by cost over-runs and product launch delays.

In 2008, video game maker Electronic Arts Inc ERTS.O made an unsuccessful bid to acquire Take Two for $2 billion, or $25.74 a share.

Shares of Take Two were up 11 cents at $9.13 in after-hours trade on Thursday. (Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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