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Activision Blizzard separates from Vivendi, deal worth $8 billion

Staff writer |
Vivendi announced that it will divest more than 85% of its interest in Activision Blizzard for $8.2 billion, or $13.60 per share. The majority of its shares (429 million) will be acquired by Activision Blizzard.

An additional portion (172 million) will be acquired by a consortium of leading investors (ASAC II LP) including the Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick and co-chairman Brian Kelly.

Vivendi currently owns 61.1% or 684 million Activision Blizzard common shares. Upon completion of this transaction, Vivendi will retain 83 million Activision Blizzard shares, representing 12% of Activision Blizzard's common shares after the transaction. ASAC II LP will own 24.9% of the outstanding share capital.

Vivendi will generate significant cash proceeds through a disposal of common shares at a premium to historical average prices. In addition, Vivendi expects to benefit from further upside at Activision Blizzard through its remaining stake.

The transaction crystallizes the value creation that Vivendi has achieved over time in its games business, nearly $8 billion.

Part of the cash proceeds from the transaction will be used to strengthen Vivendi's balance sheet and maintain its BBB/Baa2 rating. The Vivendi Supervisory Board will determine the appropriate use of the remaining proceeds.

"This transaction represents an important step forward in the strategic review conducted by the Vivendi Supervisory Board over the last year. It provides the Group with greater financial flexibility and creates value for our shareholders. Vivendi is progressing at its own pace in the announced restructuring, to reach new growth milestones," said Jean-François Dubos, chairman of the Vivendi management board.

The transaction, which is expected to close by the end of September 2013, has been unanimously approved by the Vivendi Supervisory Board and the Activision Blizzard Board of Directors, as well as Activision Blizzard's Special Committee of independent directors. Both Activision Blizzard and ASAC II LP have committed debt and equity financing in place.

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