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Activision Blizzard Independent of Vivendi in $8.2B Buyout

By - Source: GamesIndustry.biz | B 15 comments

Activision Blizzard decided to buy itself from its parent company.

There have long been rumors that Vivendi has been looking to unload its majority stake in shares at Activision Blizzard. Recently, Activision Blizzard, rather than waiting for interested buyers to pick up Vivendi's shares, decided to buy itself back from the media corporation. It paid Vivendi $5.83 billion for 439 million shares of its own stock. In addition, an investment group led by Activision CEO Bobby Kotick and including Tencent, Davis Advisors, and Leonard Green & Partners purchased 172 million shares for $2.34 billion. 

This means that since Vivendi no longer has a majority stake in the company (its stake is now 12 percent), Activision Blizzard is now independent. 

"These transactions together represent a tremendous opportunity for Activision Blizzard and all its shareholders, including Vivendi," said Kotick.

"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." 

Since the news of the buyout, Activision Blizzard's stock is up more than $2, a 14+ percent rise over yesterday's close.  

Discuss
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  • 7 Hide
    JakeX , July 28, 2013 12:20 PM
    Now if Blizzard could just break away from Activision, we will be all set!
  • 5 Hide
    LORD_ORION , July 28, 2013 12:22 PM
    Ahh, so they were intentionally making bad games all along in order to lower investor returns, which ultimately allowed a re-buy of their own stock.

    So this means they will start making good games now? Right? RIGHT!?

    (heh not with Kotick at the helm)
  • 1 Hide
    alextheblue , July 28, 2013 12:34 PM
    So they went from having a ~10 year deadline on Titan to no deadline at all.
  • -6 Hide
    alextheblue , July 28, 2013 12:34 PM
    So they went from having a ~10 year deadline on Titan to no deadline at all.
  • 1 Hide
    beayn , July 28, 2013 12:39 PM
    Doesn't this just give Kotick more freedom to run the company the way he sees fit? Into the ground if he so pleases...
  • 0 Hide
    Afrospinach , July 28, 2013 1:32 PM
    "Doesn't this just give Kotick more freedom to run the company the way he sees fit? Into the ground if he so pleases..."

    Honestly if no one told you this happened you would never have noticed. They are already rather autonomous.
  • -2 Hide
    Soda-88 , July 28, 2013 1:50 PM
    I agree with JakeX
  • 0 Hide
    kartu , July 28, 2013 2:42 PM
    Uhm, AB annual income is somewher earound 1 billion, so I wonder why Vivendi would let them go...
  • 2 Hide
    alidan , July 28, 2013 3:55 PM
    @JakeX
    no, blizzard spent to many years doing mmos, the talent that knows how to make other games left and those that remain do starcraft.

    @kartu when you play the stock market you have to take guesses as to what will sell and what won't... for video games, outside of cod and wow, they have nothing, and with a yearly cod, there is a fear they will oversaturate the market like they did with what was it, guitar hero, or was it rock band... i forget which one it was.

    once cod dies, and this next one is going to take a loss selling it as i doubt the next gen consoles will be as widely available to make that game profitable, activision has nothing to support itself.

    a smart move to get out of it now, rather than risk cod tanking and not being able to find a buyer.
  • 2 Hide
    wildkitten , July 28, 2013 4:46 PM
    @alidan
    Some left, but many at Blizzard is still there. Fact is this is bad news all around for fans of Blizzard. Kotick now once again owns Activision and now has Blizzard to go with it. No way he will ever let Blizzard split off.

    What is likely to happen now is Pardo, Metzen, Samwise and the others will likely leave sometime in the near future and we will see a new gaming company from them. I think they only stuck around this long because they may have thought Vivendi would eventually either end Kotick's reign as CEO of ActiBlizz or sell them off separately. It's clear now, that isn't happening.

    And too all those the past few years who have mistakenly claimed Kotick had no say so over Blizzard, well, this news forces your head out of the sand as he is now the owner.
  • 0 Hide
    booyaah , July 28, 2013 8:56 PM
    Or you could just be like Cloud Imperium Games, and just crowd fund all your expenses out, and the developers can continue to be their own boss.
  • 0 Hide
    olaf , July 28, 2013 10:53 PM
    I want my fing Homeworld 3... make it happen already...
  • 1 Hide
    back_by_demand , July 29, 2013 5:39 AM
    Time for a big budget revisit to the back catalogue - how about a modern 3rd person remake of Altered Beast?
  • 0 Hide
    ammaross , July 29, 2013 7:14 AM
    Perhaps, internally, they thought Titan would be such a big hit that they bought themselves out while their stock was still low(er). One can hope, right?

    Perhaps the Best Thing would be for the top brains to spin off their own company.
  • 0 Hide
    matt_b , July 29, 2013 9:28 AM
    Here's to hoping Vivendi was more to blame for the over-hashed cash-cow IP issues of the last several years. Wishful thinking I know, Bobby is still there at the helm........
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