Activision Blizzard is buying itself out from under Vivendi in a share aquisition deal for $8.17 billion. The details of the deal note that this will be a two-part buyout with $5.83 billion coming from 429 million company shares and another $2.34 billion from 172 million shares owned by CEO Bobby Kotick and Co-Chairman Brian Kelly. Kotick seemed excited by the opportunity to break away from their parent company.
“These transactions together represent a tremendous opportunity for Activision Blizzard and all its shareholders, including Vivendi. 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.”
Activision Blizzard has been under Vivendi’s rule since mid-2008 when the companies merged with Vivendi claiming majority shareholder status. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Vivendi board had been considering extracting $3 billion from Activision Blizzard’s coffers after their stock hit a nine-year low following disappointing financial results for the media conglomerate.
The announcement of Activision Blizzard’s independence comes one day before StarCraft II’s third anniversary.