Earlier this year, publisher Blizzard Activision announced its intention to separate from its French parent company of Vivendi. Negotiated and orchestrated by Blizzard’s management team and investors, the deal in question is reportedly worth $8,200,000,000 and the end result of which will result in shareholders having a controlling stake.
CEO Bobby Kotick and co-chairman Brian Kelly were responsible in purchasing a total of $2.34 billion worth of shares in order to accomplish this, with a further $100,000,000 additionally spent to help secure the split. The deal would effectively have the publisher to buy itself from its parent company and give the aforementioned heads of Blizzard overall control. In response to this, shareholder Douglas Hayes is now attempting to sue Kotick, Kelly and Vivendi SA in order to block the sale and allow non-Vivendi shareholders an opportunity to vote on the decision. Hayes stated that his reason for making such a decision was because they “usurped a corporate opportunity from the company” and as the deal would “unjustly enrich Kelly, Kotick and the other participants.”
At this point Activision has yet to publically comment upon this decision or respond to questions from industry journalists.
Should the deal manage to go through, Kotick’s investor group will gain majority of the shares with a 25% stake in the company. Vivendi meanwhile will have their stakes drop from 61% to approximately 12%. This is also following a report that the mass media company was considering selling shares to groups such as Time Warner or Microsoft among others.
Expect updates as this progresses.
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