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Activision Blizzard buys independence from Vivendi

"Tremendous opportunity" costs $8.2 billion.

Shoot those PDW-57s in the air because, in a huge financial move, Activision Blizzard has bought its independence from Vivendi.

Now he can relax and enjoy the summer.

When Activision and Vivendi merged in the summer of 2008, becoming mega-player Activision Blizzard, Vivendi owned a majority 52 per cent stake.

Now Vivendi has a 12 per cent stake and Activision Blizzard, led by Bobby Kotick, is in total control of its destiny.

Whopping wads of cash changed hands to make this happen, with Activision Blizzard splashing around $5.83 billion to buy back 429 million shares. Kotick and chairman Brian Kelly also led a separate investment group's purchase of 172 million shares for $2.34 billion.

Kotick and Kelly apparently committed $100 million combined to that investor, ASAC 2 LP, which counts online Chinese mega-company Tencent among its number. Oh the money these people have.

Kotick billed the deal as a "tremendous opportunity" for Activision Blizzard. "We should emerge even stronger," he went on, "an independent company with a best-in-class franchise portfolio and the focus and flexibility to drive long-term shareholder value and expand our leadership position as one of the world's most important entertainment companies.

"The transactions announced today will allow us to take advantage of attractive financing markets while still retaining more than $3 billion cash on hand to preserve financial stability."

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