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An Active Bid for Freedom

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By Bobfish25-09-2013

Not ready to just toll over and die, Activision/Blizzard is now making a move to overturn the overturn...thing. A report from Reuters states that their new plan is to purchase a whopping 429 million shares, at a cost of approximately $5.8 billion, thus reducing Vivendi's holding to only 12%. This would effectively lead to them becoming an independant entity, with a semi-independant investor group lead by Bobby Kotick (Activision Chief Executive) and Co-Chairman Brian Kelly purchasing 172 million shares for $2.3 billion.

This is, of course, a lot of money being put on the table, and it cannot be a coincidence that this is happening now, with the latest entry in the Call of Duty franchise so close to release. I expect Activision are gambling, if such can be said, on a speedy resolution which will leave them in the whole short term, only to rapidly recoup their investment when Ghosts inevitably sells two bajillion copies when everyone and their Uncle's dog buys it at the end of the year.

The new proposal will be heard by Delaware's Supreme Court on October 10th, with a decision expected to be forthcoming very soon after as they are known for rapid resolutions. Last year they issued a ruling from the bench regarding a movement to halt a hostile bid by Martin Marietta Materials Inc for Vulcan Materials Co. A bench ruling, for those unfamiliar with the term, being when a decision is made during proceedings, rather than being delayed by lengthy consideration arfter arguments are heard. Something which Activision are almost certainly hoping for, as it could potentially have them self governing within only two weeks.

However, everything regarding the outcome remains conjecture at this stage. We will have to wait for the hearing to begin, and of course end, before we can know anything with any certainty. The only thing we can say, is that this is still a very messy suituation for everyone involved.


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