Home Business Activision Stock Buy Back Deal With Vivendi Approved By Delaware Court

Activision Stock Buy Back Deal With Vivendi Approved By Delaware Court

Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI), the largest publisher of video games in the United States, will now be able to complete its transaction to repurchase 429 million shares for $13.60 a share or $5.83 billion from Vivendi SA (EPA:VIV) (OTCMKTS:VIVHY) after obtaining a court approval.

Activision’s acquisition of Vivendi shares

The court also approved the transaction of an investor group led by Activision’s CEO Bobby Kotick and co-chairman Brian Kelly to acquire 172 million shares worth $2.3 billion.

The Supreme Court in Delaware removed a preliminary injunction on the deal previously entered by the Delaware Chancery Court, thereby allowing Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) and Vivendi SA (EPA:VIV) (OTCMKTS:VIVHY) to proceed.

Early in September, a shareholder filed a complaint against Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) and argued that the deal would allow Kotick and Kelly’s group to gain control of the company. The legal counsels also argued that the stock purchase agreement between the games maker and Vivendi SA (EPA:VIV) (OTCMKTS:VIVHY) was a merger, therefore requiring the approval of shareholders.

Shareholder vote necessary for shares sales

Judge J. Travis Laster of the Delaware Chancery Court ruled that a shareholder vote is necessary regarding the decision of Vivendi SA (EPA:VIV) (OTCMKTS:VIVHY) to sell $8.2 billion worth of stock. Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) appealed the decision of the court.

During the trial, William Savitt, legal counsel of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) said, “This transaction has received widespread affirmation from every corner of the market. There is no reason to think this wouldn’t be widely approved by any faction of shareholders.”

Justice Myron Steele’s rulings

Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Myron Steele’s ruling explained, “There is no reasonable possibility of success on the merits. The stock purchase agreement here contested is not a merger, business combination or similar transaction.” Judge Steele also said, “There is almost universal belief that this is a good deal for the stockholders.”

Wedbush Securities analyst, Michael Pachter said that the court ruling removes that last obstacle to agreement of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) to buy back its shares, which will help position the company to become more financially flexible.  “The company communicates clearly, executes well, and its management appears to truly understand how to make money,” added Pachter in a note to investors. The analyst recommended a buy rating with a $22 price target for the shares of the games maker.

Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) and Vivendi SA (EPA:VIV) (OTCMKTS:VIVHY) expect to complete the transaction on October 15, 2013.