According to a press release yesterday evening by Activision Blizzard, the massive game studio has reached a deal with Vivendi Universal to reacquire its shares from the multinational media giant for approximately $8 billion.
Activision Blizzard itself is contributing $5.83 billion to the deal, while CEO Bobby Kotick and Co-Chairman Brian Kelly, leading an investment group, will drop another $2.34 billion into the deal, with Kotick and Kelly themselves putting in $100 million.
Vivendi Universal originally acquired Activision in 2007, merging it with Blizzard Entertainment to form Activision Blizzard. That deal went down for 9.8 billion and made Activision Blizzard the biggest third-party publisher around, dominating charts with Guitar Heroes, Calls of Duty, and World of Warcraft expansions.
Bobby Kotick, who will remain CEO, said of the merger:
“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.”
The company is making use of debt to finance the transaction, but they clearly have enough cash on hand to keep their big franchises moving. Maybe their new-found independence will inspire a bit of creativity, though we can likely expect more of the above franchises and not much in the way of Hotline Miamis and Octodads.