Activision Blizzard, Inc.
has finally managed to buy back billions of dollars of shares from parent company Vivendi Universal as part of a deal that first announced back in July
. That deal hit a snag after several shareholders filed a lawsuit, prompting a U.S. court to halt the transaction in September. On Friday, however, a Delaware court cleared the way for Activision Blizzard's proposed $8.2 billion buyout of Vivendi's majority stake in the company.
The deal includes an acquisition of around 429 million shares for approximately $5.83 billion, or $13.60 per share in cash, by Activision Blizzard. In addition, an investment group led by Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick
and Chairman Brian Kelly add another 172 million company shares from Vivendi for approximately $2.34 billion in cash, also at $13.60 per share, in a separate transaction.
"With the completion of this transaction we open a new chapter in the history of Activision Blizzard," Mr. Kotick said. "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."
Vivendi's stake in Activision Blizzard is effectively reduced to 12 percent, while the investment group led by Kotick now owns a majority 25 percent stake.