Activision Blizzard completes buyback from Vivendi

CEO Bobby Kotick heralds the announcement as a "new chapter" in the World of Warcraft publisher's legacy.

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Activision Blizzard, Inc. on Friday completed its multibillion dollar share buyback from parent company Vivendi, one day after a high court cleared the way for the transaction to happen. The deal was originally announced in July and halted in September after multiple shareholders filed lawsuits against the company.

The previously announced deal includes the acquisition of approximately 429 million company shares and certain tax attributes from Vivendi for about $5.83 billion.

The deal also includes the purchase of approximately 172 million shares from Vivendi for $2.34 billion in cash in a separate transaction from an investment group--ASAC II LP--led by Activision CEO Bobby Kotick and chairman Brian Kelly

This investment group--which also includes Tencent, Davis Advisors, Leonard Green & Partners, L.P.--now owns around 24.7 percent of the company. Vivendi has retained 83 million shares, worth an approximate 12 percent stake in the company, while the majority of the remaining 690 million shares will be owned by the public.

"With the completion of this transaction we open a new chapter in the history of Activision Blizzard," Kotick said in a statement. "We expect immediate shareholder benefits in the form of earnings-per-share accretion and strategic and operational independence. Our audiences and our incredibly talented employees around the world will benefit from a focused commitment to the creation of great games. Our shareholders and debt holders will have the benefit of an energized, invested, deeply committed management team focused on generating long-term, superior returns, and effectively managing our capital structure."

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