Activision Blizzard Isn’t Owned By Anyone, Anymore
I’ve come to realise that I don’t really know what a lot of money is. Especially this morning, after news of a massive deal between Activision Blizzard and former majority shareholders, Vivendi took place. In a move to remove Vivendi as the majority shareholders in Activision, the publisher has bought back 429 million Company shares, valued at $5.83 billion.
Additionally, a further 172 million Company shares valued at approximately $2.34 billion will be purchased by a separate investment group led by Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick and co-chairman Brian Kelly. Just take a moment to consider how much money just exchanged hands.
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Once the transaction is complete, and everyone has counted their pennies, Vivendi will no longer be the majority shareholder in Blizzard Activision, with it’s shares only totalling at around 12%. Activision will then be an independent company, with most of its shares owned primarily by the public.
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick had this to say in a press release.
“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.”
Rumours about a transaction as big as this big began in July last year, but already then it was believed that Activision would be the primary buyer. Seems like the analysts were spot on for a change.
Vivendi reportedly owed the bank nearly $17.3 billion in debt, some of which the company hoped to reclaim by dipping into Activision’s reserves. And to think, we get phone calls when we miss one monthly payment.