A deal has been apparently in the works for months, and according to Reuters today it has gone through. Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer for Activision Blizzard, has successfully moved shares back into his control both from within Activision itself, and from an investor group which he leads. The other players in the consortium itself include his Co-chairman Brian Kelly and chinese publisher Tencent, as well as several financial investment firms. The total cost for the 49% of the company, or approximately 600 million shares? 8.2 billion dollars.
While Vivendi is keeping 12% of it’s original 61% shareholdings, Kotick’s group is kicking in 2.34 billion for 172 million shares and the lions share of 429 million shares going to Activision proper. According to a post this morning over at Joystiq, Kotick stated in a conference call this morning that Tencent is simply a passive investor with no say on the board. They have apparently pitched in due to their enthusiasm over the Call Of Duty partnership they have with Activision in China. Furthermore, the investment group has no rights to nominate board members, meaning that Activision proper has wrested controlling interests in their own company.
Congratulations! Though his outspoken nature and sometimes unpopular statements have rubbed the gaming community the wrong way, Bobby Kotick has been working for years to bring Activision Blizzard to stand on its own and it looks like he’s headed in the right direction. Let’s just hope that they can diversify their game portfolio to include risks that aren’t kiboshed by nervous investors – the growing indie game scene highlights the interests of gamers – that is, we don’t need another shooter.