GamesBeat

Activision appeals to Delaware Supreme Court to lift block on massive Vivendi deal

Publisher Activision Blizzard will appear before the Delaware Supreme Court on Oct. 10 in an effort to push through its $8.17 billion deal with Vivendi, according to Reuters.

Judge Travis Laster of the lower Delaware Court of Chancery put a temporary stop to the deal, which would have Activision buying back a majority of shares from parent company Vivendi, after Activision investor Douglas Hayes sued the publisher’s board. In his lawsuit, Hayes alleged that the deal would “unjustly enrich [co-chairman Brian] Kelly, [Activision CEO Bobby] Kotick, and the other participants.”

Hayes claims the board overstepped its authority when it went ahead with the Vivendi deal and didn’t put it to a shareholder vote.

The case will now leave the Court of Chancery and head to the state’s Supreme Court.

The enormous deal, first revealed in July, has Activision purchasing $5.83 billion worth of stock from Vivendi and a new investment group led by Kotick and Kelly purchasing an additional 172 million shares for $2.34 billion.

Once the deal is final, Activision will own the majority stake in itself. Meanwhile, Vivendi will use the cash to shore up its bottom line. It currently has around $17 billion in debt.

Kotick’s and Kelly’s investment group will own around 25 percent of Activision.

The Delaware Supreme Court is well-known for its adroit handling of huge corporate disputes, but it’s unclear if we’ll have a resolution to this issue on Oct. 10. This, along with favorable tax laws, are a major part of why so many major corporations choose to incorporate within the state.

More information:

Activision (Activision Blizzard) is an American video game developer and publisher headquartered in Santa Monica, CA, but now operating worldwide. It was the first independent developer and distributor of video games for gaming console... read more »

Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Publishing, Inc. is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products. Activision maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, ... read more »

Robert Kotick, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Robert Kotick has been a director, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Activision, Inc. since February 1991. Since March 2003, Mr. Kotick has served on the board of d... read more »

Chief Executive Officer of Activision Publishing. Mr. Hirshberg became Chief Executive Officer of Activision Publishing, a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard and, along with Blizzard Entertainment, one of the company's two principal ope... read more »

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