The largest video game publisher just became independent. Activision Blizzard, the publisher behind the Call of Duty, Warcraft, and Guitar Hero franchises, bought back an $8.2 billion share from parent company Vivendi earlier today. Under the Activision Blizzard name, 429 million shares that equate to roughly $5.83 billion will be bought, while Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick and co-chairman Brian Kelly will head a group that will purchase 172 million shares (roughly $2.34 billion). Vivendi will still have a 12% stake/82 million shares in the company following the transaction.
This comes after Vivendi was looking to offload its shares in the video game company last summer. The French company, which also owns Universal Music Group (Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga, etc.) and the French TV channel/movie production company Canal+, originally merged its Vivendi Games unit with Activision Blizzard for $9.8 billion in 2009. The move made Activision Blizzard the largest video game publisher alongside Electronic Arts.
With its newfound independence, Activision is banking on its franchises’ successes without a parent company funding them. Considering the most recent Call of Duty game, Black Ops 2, made $1 billion in its first 15 days of release, I think it’s safe to say Activision will be able to prosper on its own.
[via New York Times]