In a stunning move, Activision Blizzard is set to buy back their independence from parent company Vivendi, in a deal worth approximately $8.2 billion.
Eye watering numbers, right? When the deal is complete, the company will be majority owned by the public and this should help give the company new financial flexibility...
The move comes just as Vivendi was due to receive $3 billion in a dividends pay out by Activision Blizzard. When the deal is complete, Vivendi will only hold 13% of Activision's stock, an additional 25% will be held by ASAC II LP - a private investor group backed by Bobby Kotick (AB CEO) and Brian Kelly (AB co-chairman) as well as Tencent, owners of League of Legends - and the rest will be owned by public shareholders. The deal will put Activision about $1.1 billion in debt, but now they have autonomy from Vivendi, and should be able to recoup the money after another cycle of games gets published.
To clarify, the deal most likely won't have an effect on what we see published by Activision or any of the games they currently own. So World of Warcraft players can rest easy, the deal doesn't mean anything for existing or upcoming IPs. But AB are now going to profit more from the games they publish, and won't have to worry about Vivendi or any other group having a majority say in what goes on at the company.