Activision completes $8bn buyout from Vivendi

Activision completes $8bn buyout from Vivendi
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

October 14th 2013 at 10:10AM

Bobby Kotick-led investment group also acquires 25 per cent of company

Call of Duty and World of Warcraft publishing giant Activision Blizzard has completed its buyout from Vivendi.

The $8.2 billion deal had hit a roadblock earlier this year after a number of investors, including shareholder Douglas Hayes, claimed the purchase constituted unjust enrichment, as it gave 25 per cent of the company's stock to a group led by CEO Bobby Kotick.

The Delaware Chancery Court subsequently imposed an injunction on the deal until the firm won its appeal or the transaction was approved by a stockholder vote of non-Vivendi shareholders.

The buyout has now been completed however, following the lifting of the injunction last week. The publisher has acquired 429 million shares for around $5.38 billion.

The investment group led by Kotick and chariamn Brian Kelly, ASAC II LP, which also includes Asia web giant Tencent, has also purchased 172 million shares for $2.34 billion.

Despite the buyout, Vivendi will still retain a 12 per cent stake in the company.

"With the completion of this transaction we open a new chapter in the history of Activision Blizzard," said Kotick.

"We expect immediate shareholder benefits in the form of earnings-per-share accretion and strategic and operational independence. Our audiences and our incredibly talented employees around the world will benefit from a focused commitment to the creation of great games. Our shareholders and debt holders will have the benefit of an energised, invested, deeply committed management team focused on generating long-term, superior returns and effectively managing our capital structure."