These numbers are quite large, but bear in mind that we're talking about Activision and Vivendi. Big companies.
Activision Blizzard, Inc. completed its multi-billion-dollar share buyback from parent company Vivendi, just one day after a high court cleared the way for the transaction. The deal was first announced in July but came to an unexpected halt in September when some annoyed shareholders filed lawsuits against the company.
But that has been resolved now, and Activision has acquired about 429 million company shares and certain tax attributes from Vivendi for $5.83 billion. This transaction also includes the purchase of 172 million shares from Vivendi for $2.34 billion in cash; the buyers are an investment group led by Activision CEO Bobby Kotick and chairman Brian Kelly. That group, which also includes Tencent, Davis Advisors, and Leonard Green & Partners, L.P., now owns 24.7 percent of the company. Vivendi has retained 83 million shares, which are worth about a 12% stake, and most of the remaining 690 million shares will be owned by the public.
Said Kotick in a statement:
"With the completion of this transaction we open a new chapter in the history of Activision Blizzard. We expect immediate shareholder benefits in the form of earnings-per-share accretion and strategic and operational independence. Our audiences and our incredibly talented employees around the world will benefit from a focused commitment to the creation of great games. Our shareholders and debt holders will have the benefit of an energized, invested, deeply committed management team focused on generating long-term, superior returns, and effectively managing our capital structure."
One other thing to remember- back in the 90s, Activision filed for bankruptcy. I still remember when they appeared dead, when most games that released with their name on it didn't sell at all. …what a difference a couple generations can make.