Activision Blizzard Splits From Vivendi In $8 Billion Deal

In a complex deal, Santa Monica-based Activision Blizzard said last night that it has reached a deal with Vivendi, where it will acquire approximately 429 million shares of the company, in exchange for $5.83 billion in cash. In addition, an investor group--led by Activision CEO Bobby Kotick and co-chairman Brian Kelly--will purchase an additional $2.34 billion in shares from Vivendi, for $13.60 per share. The move will split Activision Blizzard from Vivendi, and make the company's majority shares owned by the public.

According to the company, the move will make Activision Blizzard an independent company, with Vivendi retaining approximately 12% of the company. The investor group headed by Kotick and Kelly also includes Davis Advisors, Leonard Green & Partners, L.P., and Tencent. Activision Blizzard said the deal is being financed in a combination of $1.2 billion in domestic cash it had on hand, plus $4.6 billion in debt proceeds, which came from Bank of America Merrill Lynch and J.P. Morgan.