Activision’s $8.2-billion deal with Vivendi delayed by court

‘Call of Duty’
A scene from the Activision video game “Call of Duty: Ghosts.”
(Associated Press)

A U.S. court has handed down a preliminary decision to temporarily halt video game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc. and a group of investors from buying back most of Vivendi SA’s stake in the company.

The video game firm behind the “Call of Duty” franchise said on Wednesday that the Delaware Chancery Court has preliminarily enjoined the $8.2-billion deal after Douglas Hayes, an Activision shareholder, sued the company, Vivendi and the investor group earlier this month.

In the suit, Hayes contended the deal had not been put to Activision’s shareholders for a majority vote. 

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Activision said in July that it would acquire 429 million shares from the Paris company for about $5.83 billion in cash, or $13.60 a share, as Vivendi is looking to shed assets. 

Separately, Activision Chief Executive Bobby Kotick, Co-Chairman Brian Kelly and their investor group would buy about 172 million shares from Vivendi at a cost of $2.34 billion. 

“Activision Blizzard remains committed to the transaction and is exploring the steps it will take to complete the transaction as expeditiously as possible,” the company said in a statement.

The transaction is on hold “unless the injunction is modified on appeal or the transaction is approved by a stockholder vote of the non-Vivendi stockholders,” the company said.



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