The closest think that Valve Software has to a boss Gabe Newell said he'd rather see Valve disintegrate over time rather than sell out to a company like Electronic Arts. According to the New York Times gaming giant Electronic Arts has been wooing Valve Software for years. It has been under the window with Peter Gabriel on the getto blaster, sent flowers, cards, chocolatey treats and still not got a date.
Newell admitted that Valve would likely disintegrate before a multi-billion dollar publisher would swoop in and purchase the Source Engine studio. Basically what makes the company work is that it has a flat management structure and developers in teams have a lot of control. Take that away and they would all leave. It would take two or three years, after a giant company bought it while the employment agreements terminate. But at the end of that time, the buyer would not have a company.
Valve Software, the studio behind the Half-Life, Portal, Team Fortress and Left4Dead titles, is valued at $2.5 billion USD according to Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities. EA made its offer long before Steam became a huge hit and seemingly took control of the digital distribution market. EA then had to come up with its own distribution method.
Valve and EA still remain friends and seem to have gotten over that failed romantic link up. The publisher recently served as distributor of Portal 2 for the console versions.