Activision Blizzard Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), maker of the Call of Duty franchise, completed its buyback on Friday to buy a majority of Vivendi’s stake for $8.2 billion. The buyback accounts for 429 million of its own shares worth $5.83 billion while Activision Blizzard CEO Robert Kotick and Co-Chairman Brian Kelly purchased 172 million shares for $2.34 billion in a separate transaction.
The decision, originally made in late July, was dealt a surprising setback in September by a lower court preventing the transaction from being completed. The swift closing comes just a day after that ruling was overturned by the Delaware Supreme Court on Thursday.
“With the completion of this transaction we open a new chapter in the history of Activision Blizzard,” Kotick said. This transaction allows the remaining 690 million shares are now in the hands of the public shareholders. Activision rose 0.18 percent to $17.08 at the New York close on the day the news hit. Shares have gained 61 percent this year.
Hopefully we’ll start seeing a little more creative freedom from Activision Blizzard now that they’ve gained autonomy from Vivendi. Though still under control of its CEO Robert Kotick, maybe we’ll start seeing $100 for the standard version of future Call of Duty releases.