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.