Activision-Blizzard completes purchase of company shares from Vivendi

Friday, 11 October 2013 20:50 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Activision Blizzard has announced the successful completion of its previously announced acquisition of approximately 429 million company shares and certain tax attributes from Vivendi for $5.83 billion.

The buyout was led by ASAC II LP, an investment vehicle owned by Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick and Chairman Brian Kelly, which has also completed the purchase of approximately 172 million company shares from Vivendi for approximately $2.34 billion in cash in a separate transaction.

The shares Activision Blizzard purchased in the transaction will no longer be treated as outstanding, leaving the majority of the remaining 690 million shares in the hands of public shareholders.

With the closing of the transaction, ASAC II LP—the investor group which, in addition to Kotick and Kelly, includes Davis Advisors, Leonard Green & Partners, L.P., Tencent, and one of the world’s largest global institutional investors—now owns approximately 24.7% of the Company.

Vivendi has retained 83 million shares, an approximate 12% 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 energized, invested, deeply committed management team focused on generating long-term, superior returns and effectively managing our capital structure.”

Yesterday, the firm announced it expected to complete the transaction by October 15, after the Delaware Supreme Court court lifted the injunction filed against it by shareholders seeking to  block the sale over “unjust enrichment”.

In December 2007, Activision merged with Vivendi Games, and in July 2013, Activision announced back in July it would be buying stock back from its parent in order to distance itself from Vivendi, which had been looking to offload its Activision-Blizzard stock due to financial issues.