Activision Declares Independence From Vivendi – Costs Them $8 Billion
Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has done the impossible, he’s found a buyer for Activision. Himself. Well, not in the truest sense, but he put together the capitol to save Actvision/Blizzard from a crippling payout to former majority shareholder Vivendi. Vivendi was seeking to withdraw $2 Billion from the successful publisher. Kotick and co-chairman Brian Kelly were able to put together a plan to buy independence from Vivendi.
Activision put up $5.83 billion dollars, another $2.43 billion is coming from a group of private investors led by Kotick and Kelly. The two have put a combined $100 million of their own funds into the purchase. Tencent, 40% owner of Epic Games is part of this group of investors.
It’s a huge price to pay, but the freedom from oppression is well worth it. As of now the landscape has changed significantly. Vivendi’s shares now approximate at 12% with Kotick and Kelly’s group at 24.9%. This brings about another revelation, at any point, any member of the investment group can elect to sell their shares with no right of refusal to stop them. This type of open bidding allows Tencent and other key components to put pressure on Kotick and Kelly privately.
This transaction has led Activision to predict improved performance for this year. The company will hold it’s second quarter earnings call on August 1st, so we’ll know more then.