Activision-Blizzard has purchased approximately 429 million shares of its own stock for $5.83B, while CEO Bobby Kotick and co-chairman Brian Kelly have personally purchased 172 million shares for $2.34B. All told, the company has given Vivendi $8.17B to gain its freedom.
Vivendi still owns 12% of Activision-Blizzard, which is hardly a majority share. Now that Vivendi has no controlling interest in Activision-Blizzard, it'll be interesting to see which direction the publisher goes in now.
According to Kotick, "These transactions together represent a tremendous opportunity for Activision Blizzard and all its shareholders, including Vivendi. 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.
"Our successful combination with Blizzard Entertainment five years ago brought together some of the best creative and business talent in the industry and some of the most beloved entertainment franchises in the world, including Call of Duty and World of Warcraft. Since that time, we have generated over $5.4 billion in operating cash flow and returned more than $4 billion of that to shareholders via buybacks and dividends. We are grateful for Vivendi's partnership through this period, and we look forward to their continued support."
Activision-Blizzard will be hosting a conference call and live webcast on Friday, the 26th July at 8:30am EST (1:30pm GMT) to discuss the transaction.