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.