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Activision Blizzard going independent

Activision Blizzard going independent

Despite consistently strong financial results, Vivendi has been looking to offload Blizzard Activision for about a year.

Activision Blizzard is making a bid to become an independent company with the company's chief executive Bobby Kotick leading a buyout from Vivendi.

The deal, worth a total $8.2bn, will involve the triple-A publisher buying 439 million shares from parent French telecoms company Vivendi for $5.83bn and an investment group run by Kotick and company co-chairman Brian Kelly buying an additional 172 million shares worth $2.34bn.

The shares will be sold at $13.60 each, a 10% discount on Activision’s closing price on the stock market yesterday.

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

Although Vivendi will still hold approximately 12% of the total shares, it will lose its position as a major stakeholder and Activision Blizzard will instead become independently led with Kotick and Kelly at the helm.

Vivendi has been looking to sell its stake in Activision Blizzard now for approximately a year despite consistently strong financial results from the gaming giant. It has struggled to find parties in the sale.

A spokesperson for Vivendi claimed that the telecoms conglomerate was focusing more on its Universal Music business, Canal Plus paid television services and other avenues of entertainment which it is involved in.

8 Comments

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ChromeX 26th July 2013, 11:33 Quote
Having Kotick at the helm of any company cannot be a good move. He will run any franchise into the ground if it suits his profits.
Gundam God 26th July 2013, 14:27 Quote
Interesting, this could be the start of Activisions long hoped for demise.

Now if only Blizzard could go independent of Activision. :D
fix-the-spade 26th July 2013, 15:02 Quote
Well, this is unexpected. But a good move long term, maybe.

Kotick in charge isn't going to be nice for anyone, but at the same time Vivendi leveraging the debts of other companies against Activision would have been even worse.

Perhaps Vivendi have looked at the performance of WoW and CoD the last few years and decided the cash in hand is better than taking on debts and hoping the recent plateaus were blips.

I hope Blizzard finds some way to separate itself from Activision eventually, I would hate Blizzard to crash with Activision when Call of Duty and Skylanders inevitably hit the rocks at some point in the future.
Harlequin 26th July 2013, 15:09 Quote
vivendi are $17 BILLION in debt.....so $8 billion might help for a while...
thom804 26th July 2013, 15:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gundam God
Interesting, this could be the start of Activisions long hoped for demise.

Now if only Blizzard could go independent of Activision. :D

Blizz need to get some new IP's up and running. Their current ones are just stale remakes with better graphics right now. WoW at it's lowest subscriber base since 2007, No sign of D3 improving, Titan getting canned and started over. The only thing they have going for them is the eSports with SC2.

In short, I think blizz now need Activision more than acti need blizz nowadays.
Harlequin 26th July 2013, 15:17 Quote
^^ wow subs have dropped to 7.7 million and falling still ; even with cranking out content.


still its way ahead of other mmo`s in numbers....
fix-the-spade 26th July 2013, 15:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin
^^ wow subs have dropped to 7.7 million and falling still ; even with cranking out content.

The way they kill old dungeons to make space might be something do with it, it's hard to argue the subscription model is good value when content you're paying for is constantly getting booted to oblivion.
Harlequin 28th July 2013, 10:45 Quote
what `old content` has been removed??
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