Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has lead an investor buyout of $8.2 billion from parent company Vivendi. The publisher is now an independent company. The publisher bought 439 million shares were purchased for $5.83 billion. Also Kotick and co-chairman Brian Kelly will purchase 172 million more shares worth $2.34 billion.
Kotick will remain CEO of Activision Blizzard as the company becomes publicly owned. However, Vivendi will still own 83 million shares or 12 percent of the company.
"These transactions together represent a tremendous opportunity for Activision Blizzard and all its shareholders, including Vivendi," said CEO Bobby Kotick. "We should emerge even stronger—an independent company with a best-in-class franchise portfolio and the focus and flexibility to drive long-term shareholder value and expand our leadership position as one of the world's most important entertainment companies."
"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."
"Our successful combination with Blizzard Entertainment five years ago brought together some of the best creative and business talent in the industry and some of the most beloved entertainment franchises in the world, including Call of Duty and World of Warcraft."
"Since that time, we have generated over $5.4 billion in operating cash flow and returned more than $4 billion of that to shareholders via buybacks and dividends. We are grateful for Vivendi's partnership through this period, and we look forward to their continued support."
Kotick's investor group, includes Brian Kelly, Davis Advisors, Leonard Green & Partners, L.P., Tencent, and one of the largest global institutional investors. They will own approximately 24.9 percent of the stake in the company.