Activision Blizzard buys independence from Vivendi

activision-blizzard-inc-logoGaming super-giant Activision Blizzard is finally set to become an independent entity, with CEO Bobby Kotick leading the charge with an $8.2 billion buyout from their former parent company Vivendi.

The company has made the staggering deal to purchase 439 million shares from their former owners for a whopping $5.83 billion. This is in addition another 172 million shares that is worth $2.34 billion, which was purchased through an investment group headed by Kotick and co-chairman Brian Kelly. The end result is that Vivendi no longer has the largest stake in the company, now holding only 12% of shares to the investment group’s roughly 25%.

“We should emerge even stronger-an independent company,” Kotick said in a statement regarding the buyout, “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.”

Obviously this move means a lot of things for the company behind titles such as Call of Duty and World of Warcraft; namely more Call of Duty and World of Warcraft. But, this also means a lot of other potential moves, since they no longer have to worry about a higher power watching over them and making sure they’re making them money. The employees just have to worry about making Kotick and Kelly more money instead.

All joking aside, this is definitely a huge move for what’s become one of, if not the biggest gaming company in the west, and it will definitely be interesting to see how things go for them from here on out.


Source: GamesIndustry

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