kotick -

Activision Blizzard will become an independent company after an investor buyout from owner Vivendi worth $8.2 billion, the publisher has announced.

The publisher will purchase 439 million shares for $5.83 billion, whilst an investment group formed by Activision CEO Bobby Kotick and co-chairman Brian Kelly will buy 172 million shares at $2.34 billion.

$100m of the funding is coming from Kotick and Kelly, with the remaining billions coming from investors including Davis Advisors, Leonard Green & Partners, and Chinese games firm Tencent.

Kotick's group will own 24.9 per cent of the business, with Vivendi holding onto 12 per cent.

"These transactions together represent a tremendous opportunity for Activision Blizzard and all its shareholders, including Vivendi," said Kotick, who remains CEO.

He continued: "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."

Kotick concluded that Activision Blizzard is "grateful for Vivendi's partnership" and looks ""forward to their continued support."

Source: Press release

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