Activision Blizzard buys itself from Vivendi; Bobby Kotick remains as CEO

Activision Blizzard buys itself from Vivendi; Bobby Kotick remains as CEO

26 July 2013

Activision Blizzard today announced that it has bought itself from former owner Vivendi.

In the deal with Vivendi, Activision Blizzard will acquire “approximately 429 million Company shares and certain tax attributes, in exchange for approximately $5.83 billion in cash, or $13.60 per share acquired before taking into account the future benefit from these tax attributes,” Activision Blizzard said in a recent press release made available by Joystiq.

Another transaction saw ASAC II LP, an “investment vehicle” led by Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick and Co-Chairman Brian Kelly, separately purchasing around 172 million shares from Vivendi for approximately $2.34 billion in cash, or $13.60 per share. The total cost of the two transactions totals over $8 billion dollars.

Activision Blizzard has confirmed that they’ll be an independent company after the transaction, with “the majority of its shares owned by the public.” Bobby Kotick will remain as Activision Blizzard’s CEO, and Brian Kelly as Chairman. Vivendi will retain about 15% of the company’s shares, and ASAC II LP will hold 24.9%.

Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, said, “These transactions together represent a tremendous opportunity for Activision Blizzard and all its shareholders, including Vivendi. We should emerge even stronger-an independent company with a best-in-class franchise portfolio and the focus and flexibility to drive long-term shareholder value and expand our leadership position as one of the world’s most important entertainment companies. The transactions announced today will allow us to take advantage of attractive financing markets while still retaining more than $3 billion cash on hand to preserve financial stability.”

“Our successful combination with Blizzard Entertainment five years ago brought together some of the best creative and business talent in the industry and some of the most beloved entertainment franchises in the world, including Call of Duty and World of Warcraft. Since that time, we have generated over $5.4 billion in operating cash flow and returned more than $4 billion of that to shareholders via buybacks and dividends. We are grateful for Vivendi’s partnership through this period, and we look forward to their continued support,” Kotick continued.