Court Clears Way for Vivendi to Sell $8.2 Billion in Activision Blizzard Stock
The deal will make an investor group that includes CEO Bobby Kotick as the largest shareholder.
Vivendi might proceed with a plan to sell $5.83 billion in Activision Blizzard stock to the video-game maker and another $2.34 billion in stock to an investment group led by Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick and co-chairman Brian Kelly, a court ruled on Thursday.
The plan stalled last month due to a temporary court injunction, though the Delaware Supreme Court said the deal can go through, and Activision Blizzard said later it expected to close the transaction by Oct. 15.
The deal had been challenged by an Activision shareholder, who argued that it amounted to a merger that would give too much control to Kotick and Kelly, but Chief Justice Myron Steele disagreed.
"There is no reasonable possibility of success on the merits," Steele wrote of the legal challenge, according to Bloomberg. "The stock purchase agreement here contested is not a merger, business combination or similar transaction."
Kotick and Kelly's group includes Davis Advisors, Leonard Green & Partners and Tencent Holdings, a Chinese publisher of video games. The deal will make the group the largest Activision Blizzard shareholder with about 25 percent of the company, compared to the 12 percent that Vivendi will retain.
Shares of Activision rose 5 percent on Thursday to $17.05. The deal calls for Vivendi to sell its shares for $13.60 apiece.
Activision Blizzard's games include Call of Duty, Skylanders and World of Warcraft.