Activision Blizzard, one of the world’s biggest game publishing companies, was set to buy itself out from parent company Vivendi, but that has now been stalled, due to a lawsuit from shareholder Douglas Hayes, which suggests that the sale could not be completed without unfairly enriching CEO of Activision Blizzard Bobby Kotich and co-chairman Brian Kelly.
Both stand to receive over 170 million shares in the company between them, setting their investment group back over $2.3 billion (£1.5 billion). This is on top of the 429 million shares at $13.60 per share, that Activision Blizzard as a company, would acquire from Vivendi.
However, Hayes believes this deal would be unfair to every other share holder and wants non-Vivendi approval from stock owners. According to the Wired coverage of the story however, Activision Blizzard is still: “committed to the transaction and is exploring the steps it will take to complete the transaction as expeditiously as possible.”
In order to do as it says however and “complete the transaction,” the publisher will need to either find some way of modifying Hayes’ appeal, perhaps through some kind of personal settlement, or find some way to receive approval from non-Vivendi stock holders.
KitGuru Says: There was always going to be some complications with big money getting thrown around like this, but it will be interesting to see if Mr Hayes isn’t the only Activision Blizzard stock holder who doesn’t approve of this deal.