July 9, 2008
Brian Kelly (Chairman)
Activision Blizzard is the holding company formed from the merger of Blizzard Entertainment's then-owner Vivendi Games and Activision, the video game producer behind Call of Duty. The merger was finalized on July 9, 2008. Vivendi became the majority shareholder of Activision Blizzard with 54% of the stock.
Almost no changes occurred at Blizzard Entertainment, and it and Activision continue to exist as separate entities under the Activision Blizzard umbrella. The holding company does not publish games under its central name and instead uses its subsidiaries to publish games, similar to how Vivendi Games operated before the merger. Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. remains as Blizzard's brand.
Split from Vivendi
On July 25, 2013, Activision Blizzard announced that it would purchase 429 million shares from Vivendi for $5.8 billion. This purchase was financed with $1.2 billion of cash that was on hand and $4.6 billion of debt proceeds, leaving them with a $1.4 billion of net debt at the end of the deal in September 2013. An investment group that includes Bobby Kotick and Brian Kelly (who put up $100 million together), as well as Tencent and other partners, purchased 172 million shares for $2.3 billion. This group owned 24.9% of the company, and Vivendi retained ownership of 83 million shares (12%) of the company. By January 15, 2016, Vivendi had sold the remainder of its shares.
- ^ a b Activision/Vivendi Games Merger Approved: Stockholders support Activision Blizzard venture. Accessed 2010-01-23.
- ^ Karune. 2008-07-10. Activision Blizzard Announcement. Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2008-07-19.
- ^ Brendan Sinclair. 2007-12-03. Activision, Vivendi merger reaps positive reactions. Gamespot. Accessed 2008-11-28.
- ^ Activision Blizzard FAQ
- ^ Businessweek. 2010-01-23. Activision Blizzard Inc details.
- ^ Ordinn. 2007-12-02. 0. Activision Blizzard FAQ. WoW General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2007-12-02
- ^ Activision Blizzard Announces Transformative Purchase of Shares from Vivendi and New Capital Structure
- ^ Activision Blizzard Purchases Vivendi's Shares
- ^ Vivendi Sells Its Stake in Activision Blizzard