Los Angeles Business Journal

Court Clears Activision Stock Deal

By Natalie Jarvey Thursday, October 10, 2013

Activision Blizzard Inc. plans to complete its buyback of shares from Vivendi within a week now that the Delaware Supreme Court has cleared the way for the purchase.

The court on Thursday lifted a preliminary injunction on the buyback deal. The initial decision made last month required Activision to seek shareholder approval before the transaction could be completed.

The Santa Monica video game publisher now says it expects to acquire 429 million shares from Vivendi by Oct. 15. In a simultaneous transaction, an investment group led by Activision Chief Executive Bobby Kotick will purchase 172 million shares.

Activision and Vivendi first announced the stock repurchase in July and had planned to complete the $8.2 billion transaction by the end of September.

The deal faced a significant roadblock in last month, however, when a Delaware Chancery Court judge ruled in favor of shareholder Douglas Hayes, who argued that the deal should be approved by shareholders, and blocked the sale.

Activision appealed the decision but also agreed to seek shareholder approval if the appeal failed.

Activision shares on Thursday closed up 77 cents, or nearly 5 percent, to $17.05 on the Nasdaq.