Activision Blizzard, the world's largest twin publisher has revealed a new deal that will allow them to separate from Vivendi and become an independent company.
The new deal comes on the tail of recent murmurs that Vivendi, the French conglomerate that once controlled the video game maker, would receive $2 billion if Activision Blizzard made a $3 billion dividend pay out due to the company controlling a majority of board seats and a 61% stake in the twin publisher.
According to the New York Times
, "Activision Blizzard will buy about 429 million of its shares shares and certain tax attributes from Vivendi for roughly $5.83 billion in cash, or $13.60 a share." This new deal will rack up to $8.2 billion, a fair chunk of money that will enable the publisher to go independent from Vivendi. The French company will however retain a stake of about 12 percent, or 83 million shares, in Activision Blizzard, the company said.
“We should emerge even stronger,” said CEO of Activision Blizzard, Robert Kotick. “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 group of investors led by Mr. Kotick and Mr. Kelly — which also includes Davis Advisors, Leonard Green & Partners and Tencent — is expected to have roughly a 24.9 percent stake in the company. Mr. Kotick and Mr. Kelly have personally committed $100 million.
Activision Blizzard plans to finance the deal with about $1.2 billion of cash on hand and roughly $4.6 billion of debt, raised through the markets and bank financing. The company expects to have $1.4 billion of net debt after the deal, which is expected to close by the end of September.
The new deal should be complete by September. For those who may have forgotten exactly what Activision Blizzard publishes these include Diablo, StarCraft, World of Warcraft, Skylanders and Call of Duty among other properties. Activision Blizzard is considered one of a few mega-publishers in the games industry, alongside Electronic Arts, Ubisoft and of course platform holders.