Activision to spend billions to buy back Vivendi stake

Game giant Activision Blizzard is taking back the firm's controlling stake in deals worth more than $8 billion.

Activision Blizzard, publisher of Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, is spending $5.83 billion to buy back roughly 429 million shares from majority shareholder Vivendi.

Activision announced Friday that it will acquire the shares for $13.60 each. In addition, ASAC II, led by Activision CEO Bobby Kotick and Co-Chairman Brian Kelly, will conduct a separate transaction to purchase another 172 million Activision shares for $2.34 billion.

Under the agreement, Vivendi will no longer be a majority shareholder but will retain 12 percent ownership -- a drop from 61.1 percent. ASAC II will own a stake of 24.9 percent.

The CEO and co-chairman have personally contributed $100 million to the deal.

Santa Monica, Calif.-based Activision will fund the acquisition with $1.2 billion in cash and roughly $4.6 billion in debt. Banks including J.P. Morgan and Bank of America Merrill Lynch will contribute to the financing. Activision said the move represents a "tremendous opportunity for Activision and all its shareholders, including Vivendi" by building on the strength and flexibility of the publisher, as well as "preserving financial stability."

Tags:
Gaming
About the author

    Charlie Osborne writes for ZDNet, SmartPlanet, and CNET. She is based in London and is a freelance journalist, designer, and photographer.

     

    Discuss Activision to spend billions to buy back...

    Conversation powered by Livefyre

    This week on CNET News
    Hot Products
    Trending on CNET

    Time to toss the old dirtbag

    Looking for a vacuum?

    Whether you’re looking for a traditional upright vacuum or a low-key bot, we've picked the best vacuums for your needs.