Tue, Sep 24, 2013 | 06:31 BST
Acitivision Blizzard and Vivendi file emergency appeal against sale injunction
Activision Blizzard and its parent company Vivendi have marshalled their lawyers in an attempt to overturn an injunction against the twin publisher’s sale.
The two companies argued that the injunction “irreparably harms” minor shareholders, who were in line to benefit from $1 billion worth of gains on the publisher’s stock since the deal was announced.
The Delaware high court will host a hearing on the appeal on October 10. One of the key issues the court must rule on is whether the deal is a share buyback, as the companies argue, or whether it’s a business combination, which would mean a shareholder vote is required.
Vivendi and Activision Blizzard plan to return the twin publisher to public control. Activision Blizzard would acquire 429 million shares in itself for $5.83 billion, while a private group of investors led by CEO Bobby Kotick would snaffle 72 million shares for $2.34 billion for just under a quarter stake. Vivendi would benefit by about $8 billion in cash, retaining just 12% of the publisher, and cutting ties with a line that is secondary to the troubled company’s core businesses.
Unfortunately, at least two shareholders objected to the decision, arguing that it ‘unduly enriches’ Vivendi and Kotick’s investment group at the expense of other shareholders.