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Activision Blizzard Is Now Independent

We're talking some major dollar signs here, and the result is a newly independent company.

As GamesIndustry.biz reports, Activision Blizzard has become its own independent company, as CEO Bobby Kotick leads an investor buyout from Vivendi that is worth a whopping $8.2 billion. Yes, billion.

The Call of Duty and World of Warcraft publisher will buy 439 million shares from Vivendi for $5.83 billion, and an investment group headed by Kotick and co-chairman Brian Kelly will pick up another 172 million shares for $2.34 million. So, with Vivendi no longer being a major stakeholder, Activision Blizzard will be on its own, led by Kotick and Kelly. Their investment group includes Chinese operator Tencent, Davis Advisors and Leonard Green & Partners. Said Kotick:

"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 added that their franchises have generated over $5.4 billion in operating cash flow and more than $4 billion of that has been returned to shareholders via buybacks and dividends. Of course, we'd replace "best-in-class franchise portfolio" with simply "most popular franchise portfolio" but hey, we're just trying to be accurate. Anyway, Kotick's investment group will hold nearly 25% of the company, as Kotick and Kelly have invested about $100 million of their own money. Vivendi will continue to hold about half that: 12% of the shares.

Big news, big money.

Tags: activision, activision blizzard, vivendi, bobby kotick

7/26/2013 11:09:29 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (8 posts)

LegendaryWolfeh
Friday, July 26, 2013 @ 11:26:32 AM
Reply

Welp, Mr. Kotick Sure Knows What He Is Doing.

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Cesar_ser_4
Friday, July 26, 2013 @ 11:41:36 AM
Reply

It's nice to see Activision is finally able to hold their own steaks.

Last edited by Cesar_ser_4 on 7/26/2013 11:53:35 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, July 26, 2013 @ 11:47:28 AM
Reply

That's a nice cash machine they've got there but where are the attempts at new games? They pump out a new CoD every year with minimal improvements, a new Diablo every decade, and hoard all the cash. They gave High Moon like a $4 budget for Deadpool.

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AcHiLLiA
Friday, July 26, 2013 @ 2:44:11 PM
Reply

So I assume COD is here to stay.

Last edited by AcHiLLiA on 7/26/2013 2:44:21 PM

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PlatformGamerNZ
Friday, July 26, 2013 @ 10:12:17 PM
Reply

yeah i guess COD will be around still i just hope "they can actually imform COD for once" rather than just milking the fans cos well i'm bored of it now and there needs to be some serious improvement or i will never buy another COD after BOII and i think i will be just fine with that.
but hey aleats they can make their own decisions weither they are gud decisions is yet to be seen.

happy gaming =)

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AcHiLLiA
Saturday, July 27, 2013 @ 12:50:39 AM

I do love treyarch's COD's but BO2 was just to much, overrated.

Last edited by AcHiLLiA on 7/27/2013 12:50:55 AM

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Kryten1029a
Saturday, July 27, 2013 @ 3:25:07 PM
Reply

172 million shares for a little over $2 million is a sweetheart deal if I've ever seen one. Bobby Kotick has admitted that he doesn't play the games his company puts out and that he'd charge more if he could and now there's this! Keep churning out the same game year after year and when you've driven a franchise into the ground, just start over with a paint-by-numbers money churner. EA is more hated but Activision is just the definition of everything that I hate about videogame publishing.

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Underdog15
Sunday, July 28, 2013 @ 8:01:47 PM

yeah, is that correct? That's pennies a share for what is apparently worth 17.46 at close on Friday....

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