Court Blocks Activision Blizzard's Plan to Buy Stock From Vivendi
A U.S. court has stalled a plan whereby Vivendi would sell $8.2 billion in Activision Blizzard back to the video game company and some of its top executives.
The decision disclosed on Wednesday is the result of a lawsuit filed by an Activision shareholder against both Activision and Vivendi.
Activision said Wednesday that the Delaware Chancery Court issued a preliminary injunction that stops the deal, at least temporarily.
"Activision Blizzard remains committed to the transaction and is exploring the steps it will take to complete the transaction as expeditiously as possible," the firm said.
Activision said the transaction could still close if the injunction is modified on appeal or if it is approved by a stockholder vote of the non-Vivendi stockholders.
The deal, now blocked under Hayes v. Activision Blizzard, had Activision buying 429 million of its shares from Vivendi for about $5.83 billion, or $13.60 a share. Also, an investment vehicle led by Activision CEO Bobby Kotick and co-chairman Brian Kelly would concurrently buy 172 million Activision shares from Vivendi for $2.34 billion, which also represents $13.60 per share.
If the deal closes as originally drawn, the investment group, which also includes Chinese digital company Tencent, Fidelity Investments and others, would own 24.9 percent of Activision. Kotick and Kelly were prepared to invest a combined $100 million, and Vivendi would still own about 12 percent of Activison, down from its 61 percent stake now.
On Wednesday, shares of Activision dropped fractionally to $17.15.
Activision is best known for its Call of Duty and Skylanders franchises, as well as games based on Hollywood fare like Wreck-it Ralph, Fast & Furious, Family Guy, Transformers, Spider-Man, The Walking Dead and others.