By Dow Jones Business News, October 11, 2013, 04:48:00 PM EDT
By Michael Calia
Vivendi SA (VIV.FR) said Friday it had completed its divestment of a large portion of its stake in videogame maker
Activision Blizzard Inc. ( ATVI ).
The move comes a day after the Delaware Supreme Court ruled Vivendi's exit could proceed. Last month, Delaware'sCourt
of Chancery had placed an injunction on the transaction after shareholders had sued on the grounds that they were
entitled to vote before the transaction went through.
The stake sale netted $8.2 billion for Vivendi, which will retain 83 million shares, or a 12% stake, in Activision.
Vivendi sold the stake as part of its strategy to become a smaller media company. It has said it plans to use the
proceeds of the transaction, along with another potential deal to sell its stake in African phone operator Maroc Telecom
(IAM.CL), to pay down debt, which would allow a spinoff of French phone operator SFR.
"This divestment represents a major step forward in the strategic review Vivendi has been conducting for the last
year," Vivendi said. "It provides the group with greater financial flexibility at a time when it is studying a demerger
plan in order to create significant shareholder value."
For Activision, the transaction added about $1 billion in value to the videogame company when it was announced in
July. Activision and Vivendi had argued that the injunction created uncertainty about the deal that put at risk the
prospects of Activision shareholders taking more control of the company.
Activision shares were inactive at $17.08 after hours. The stock is up 61% this year.
Write to Michael Calia at email@example.com
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