Activision Blizzard is one of the biggest behemoths in all of gaming, so it’s easy to forget that the company is actually just a small piece of Vivendi, a French conglomerate that is five times as large. That was yesterday. Today, an investment group (lead by CEO Bobby Kotick and Co-Chairman Brian Kelly) has announced they’re going to purchase Activision Blizzard and that, going forward, the game publisher will operate as an independent company.
In addition to the 172 million shares (valued at $2.34 billion or $13.60 per share) purchased by Kotick and Kelly, Activision itself will purchase 429 million shares from Vivendi for $5.83 billion. When taken together, these two transactions will make Activision a majority publicly-owned company. The sale should be completed by September and Vivendi will still own about 12% of the outstanding shares.
“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,” Kotick said.
As of 8:30 AM, pre-market trading saw Activision’s stock rise $2.74 (18%) to $17.92. Their shareholders must be very pleased.