French multinational media firm, Vivendi, has announced that it is selling its 85 per cent stake in publishing giant Activision Blizzard, for a cool $8.2 (£5.3) billion. While this is obviously a fair chunk of change, the individual share price of $13.60 each, equates to a 10 per cent savings over the closing Thursday share price, netting Activision a nice discount.
However, it’s not all cut and dry with Activision retaking total control of its affairs. While 429 million shares will be bought by the publisher for $5.83 billion, an investor group led by the CEO Bobby Kotick and co-chairman Brian Kelly, will separately purchase 172 million shares for a further $2.34 billion.
Kotick said of the deal: 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 portfolio and the focus and flexibility to drive long-term shareholder value.”
He also mentioned that despite the impressive cash outlay from the company, Activison Blizzard still has over $3 billion in liquid finance sitting in the bank. It’s done this by not actually buying itself out with cash-money, but with a big chunk of “debt-proceeds,” worth upwards of $4.6 billion. Some of the finance has come from the Bank of America too.
The deal is expected to close by the end of September this year.
If you want to view the long, long document detailing every aspect of the deal, You can find it here.
KitGuru Says: We always see Activision Blizzard as this giant entity – and it is – but when you talk Vivendi, you’re in a whole other ball game. Its revenue is just 30 billion euros a year. That’s crazy money.