Court temporarily blocks Activision Blizzard separation deal

Delaware Chancery Court issues preliminary injunction following shareholder's bid to block the sale.

Activision Blizzard's attempt to separate itself from parent company Vivendi has been put on hold. The Delaware Chancery Court this week issued a preliminary injunction following multiple lawsuits from shareholders seeking to block the deal.

The transaction will continue to be halted until its terms are modified on appeal or the transaction is approved by a shareholder vote of non-Vivendi stockholders.

"Activision Blizzard remains committed to the transaction and is exploring the steps it will take to complete the transaction as expeditiously as possible," the company said in a statement.

In July this year, Activision Blizzard announced its intention to separate from its parent company, Vivendi. The purchase would see around 429 million shares change hands, totaling roughly $5.83 billion in cash.

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick and co-chairman Brian Kelly are responsible for the purchase of 172 million shares, worth an estimated $2.34 billion. The pair have personally contributed $100 million to secure the sale. As a result, Kelly would become sole chairman under the restructure, with Vivendi retaining a minority 12 percent stake in the business.

The deal was orchestrated by Activision Blizzard's management team and assisted by investors. The intended trade would result in shareholders owning a controlling stake in the business.

Last week, shareholder Douglas M. Hayes stated in a lawsuit that the sale would "unjustly enrich Kelly, Kotick, and the other participants."

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Discussion

65 comments
June-GS
June-GS

...the sale would "unjustly enrich Kelly, Kotick, and the other participants." -- But then again, EVERYTHING about Kotick is unjust.

VarietyMage
VarietyMage

Unless they fix the Diablo franchise (if they split), they will still lose money (and maybe go bankrupt).  Nobody wants to play crap like Diablo 3 - we wanted Diablo 2 with some modifications, not the steaming pile they served us.

FajitaEataxx
FajitaEataxx

I got excited thinking that Blizzard was freeing itself, but then I read the article :(

AuronAXE
AuronAXE

I haven't really heard much from Activision lately. WoW is dying, CoD is still doing it's own thing, and what else? Have they showed off any cool new projects? Is all their innovation gone? You gotta give it to them, they had a period where they were #1. What now? Maybe I'm just out of the loop.

Ceclor
Ceclor

I had heard that the reason Act / Blizz wanted to separate from Vivendi was because Act / Blizz was the only part that was profitable and there was rumor that too much of said profit would be used for other projects that were not showing profit.  Which is typically what companies do.  Kotick just doesn't appear to want to share.

I'm not convinced, however, that separating and putting Kotick in charge is the way to go either.  Kotick doesn't understand video games beyond the fact that you can make money with them.

jindro
jindro

They need to seperate its like a very bad marriage...

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Activision is profitable.  The non-Activision parts of Vivendi are not.  Of course the shareholders would fight to prevent this.  Hopefully their objections can be overruled.

RapidFirE53211
RapidFirE53211

Damn, I was hoping that Blizzard and Activision were separating.

ZeroX91
ZeroX91

...What about this is illegal? Just means share holders would have a voice in things. Not much of one though, considering majority share holders would be the owners. (Which isn't that how things should work to begun with? I want people who make the games in charge not annalists and random jackoffs.)

zintarr
zintarr

Just a bunch of rich asses having a slap fight. Tomorrow they will be back to screwing us, their customers once again.

Talavaj
Talavaj

The sale would "unjustly enrich Kelly, Kotick, and the other participants." 

Isn't that the whole goddamn point in buying shares ?

speedracer3190
speedracer3190

I guess no one reads anymore, and title is misleading. 

shreddyz
shreddyz

I hope they destroy each other. seriously. Sorry to the families that have hardships as a result but gaming doesn't need them imo. They're just huge corporations with only one goal in mind! And it isn't quality.

rktPYZQShWz
rktPYZQShWz

Why can't Activision and Blizzard separate?

lonewolf1044
lonewolf1044

At least Blizzard is heading in the right direction getting rid of the auction houses and going back to getting the loot in the game and not buying it even though it is one's right to buy it if they wish but the with the hacking and exploits within the game is just too much. Now if they can just drop the online requirement that would me the icing of the cake.:)

Bangerman15
Bangerman15

I only clicked because I thought it was activision and blizzard separating lol! misleading title

gamingnerd121
gamingnerd121

Not able to make money on a sale? Block the sale from those who do. Such a lovely thing.

jd7904
jd7904

I think Vivendi may be the driving force behind all the BS activision has done for many years. I think this separation from them could be a good thing. Activision was always about quality over quantity and wanted to treat it's employees right. When a big entertainment conglomerate (Vivendi) with a bunch of greedy shareholders has too much of a say, it tends to lower creativity. I think  this would benefit gamers.

maitkarro
maitkarro

Anyone who think that it's blizz and activision that are trying to separate from each other, read the whole thing, the title is misleading. It's Activision and Blizzard together trying to separate from parent company Vivendi, all for the sake of money, as Vivendi would have only 12% of the shares from the whole company it is now.

slim_chance
slim_chance

Lol this article is poorly worded, Its not activision and blizzard trying to seperate.

McGregor
McGregor

Well, at least they are trying to get back to their roots somewhat. Maybe we'll eventually get the Blizzard back that we all knew and loved.

KingofCabal
KingofCabal

Why is GS so slow with everything? this was on IGN like 15 hours ago.

blackothh
blackothh

And why is there a call of dooty video posted in an article that is focused on blizzard?

Namadi
Namadi

if they cared about making game as much as doing this maybe we would get some shit worth buying again.

yourdem1ze
yourdem1ze

@VarietyMage Hahaha, that is Nostalgia you are talking with. Tbh Diablo III is way better than Diablo II. Take off your fucking glasses and get real.

erMonezza
erMonezza

@AuronAXE What are you talking about? Activision is all the rage with CoD, the dog man, the dooooooog... and the moving fishes. xD

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

@ZeroX91 No this is koticks and kelly 'hostile' take out by moving a lucrative part of a company into fewer hands with them making out like bandits by owning controlling shares. It would be like sony extracting the games and entertainment division from the parent company into the hands of a few and controlled and ran by just a few. 

Remember it was the larger company and stockholder/ investers that invested and help create that division from startup to success that it is now. Like a good time friend. There for the party, time to roll before the clean up. 

Remember it was koticks position during the cod scandal that tried to claim publishers have ownership rights of developers works and tools when they publish a developers game. It was akin to a king hiring a painter to paint his portrait - after it was done- the painting of course would belong to the king but also the tools, paint, skills, techniques used to craft the painting would also be his and the painter could not paint anyone else portrait from then on without it belonging to the king. 

This is a story with alot of facets, check gamesindustryinternational .com for more in depth articles and be sure to read the activision scandal regarding cod, it will just about make you sick. 

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

@Talavaj It not as simple as that, this is more like trying to remove a lucrative part of a restaurant from then hands of creators and investers who helped build it into the hands of a few. it is almost like a hostile buyout.  

fatee
fatee moderator

@slim_chance Activision Blizzard is the whole name of the company.

Poor understanding, not poor worded. 

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@slim_chance Activision Blizzard is now the NAME of the company.

The title should read "Activision-Blizzard Vivendi separation deal"

blackothh
blackothh

@McGregor going back to roots would mean getting away from activision, and getting the people who actually had creative brains back into blizzard from Runic.

belgard1299
belgard1299

@blackothh Cause this is focused on "ActivisionBlizard" and CoD is title from activision, you want another screen with Panda made in Blizzard?? lol

Total_mischief
Total_mischief

@Namadi The masses still think Diablo and Call of Duty is worth buying. Until that changes they don't need to make anything good.

VarietyMage
VarietyMage

@yourdem1ze @VarietyMage Nostalgia is the feeling that exists when something good is remembered.  Diablo 2 I remember with nostalgia.  Diablo 3 is a game I remember with scorn, disgust, and a feeling of the loss of a good franchise because the developers broke the franchise probably permanently.  And I don't wear glasses...I don't know what you're smoking, kid.

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

@jenovaschilld @ZeroX91 This doesn't qualify as a hostile takeover at all.

I do agree that leaving the company solely in the hands of Kotick and Kelly with fewer shareholders to answer to may be very bad for gamers.

ZeroX91
ZeroX91

@jenovaschilld

Welp had no idea who Kotick was....smart business man but not exactly good for gamers.

shnelle
shnelle

@jenovaschilld @Talavaj Cept Vivendi never created Activision or Blizzard they originally just bought it and munched off it.  I hope it goes through.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@Kunakai @Thanatos2k @Diablo-B Not putting out games we want to play or coupling the games we want to play with disgusting features like DRM, or cutting portions of games we want to play out and selling them back to us as DLC is indeed screwing us.

Kunakai
Kunakai

@Thanatos2k @Diablo-B  Getting screwed is having someone hold a knife to your throat while slipping your wallet out of your pocket. What you're referring to (buying bad games and supporting bad developers/publishers) is more akin to holding a knife to your own throat and throwing your wallet down the toilet. 

Total_mischief
Total_mischief

@blackothh @belgard1299 What does that have to do with anything ? Call of Duty is Activision Blizzard's most profitable and recognizable franchise. Five years ago, something about WoW would have been relevant, but not today.