Court Halts Activision Blizzard Split from Vivendi

By Stacy Jones -

Update 1: Courts have given the Activision Blizzard deal to buy its independence from Vivendi the green light after a challenge to the court-imposed preliminary injunction was successful, overturning the injunction.

Update 2: Activision Blizzard completes the Vivendi buyout deal to secure its independence.

Original Story (9/19/2013): Activision BlizzardÂ’s bid to separate itself from parent company Vivendi and avoid the crippling mountain of debt Vivendi had proposed shifting to the publisher has hit a snag this week. Back in July, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick and Co-Chairman Brian Kelly put together a team of investors to buy back a majority stake of the publisher to the tune of $8.17 billion and split off from Vivendi. But not everyone was happy with that deal.

In August, shareholder Todd Miller filed suit to stop the buyout deal alleging that the deal gave insiders “an immediate paper windfall.” That windfall was around $664 million. Miller further alleged breach of fiduciary duties, waste of corporate assets and unjust enrichment in the suit.

A second investor, Douglas Hayes, joined Miller in filing suit earlier this month. As it turns out, Hayse appears to have had some success. Following the "Hayes v. Activision Blizzard, Inc" suit filed earlier this month, the Delaware Chancery Court put a freeze on the deal. The exchange will remain frozen until it can be approved by a stockholder vote of non-Vivendi stockholders or the injunction is reversed on appeal an Activision Blizzard rep told Polygon. In the interim, Activision Blizzard will continue to explore steps to complete the transaction as quickly as possible.

Source: Polygon

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