Activision CEO: 'Business as usual' after pushing through buyout deal

Activision CEO: 'Business as usual' after pushing through buyout deal

Summary: After finalizing a deal to buy back the company's majority stake, Activision's CEO says the firm will be conducting "business as usual."

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TOPICS: Tech Industry
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Activision CEO Bobby Kotick says that the company will be operating as usual after spending billions to buy back the firm's controlling stakes from parent company Vivendi.

This week, Activision Blizzard announced the completion of a deal to purchase the game publisher's controlling stakes back from Vivendi. The maker of titles including Call of Duty and World of Warcraft said it would push ahead with a number of separate deals worth roughly $8 billion; spending $5.83 billion to buy back roughly 429 million shares from majority shareholder Vivendi, while ASAC II -- led by the CEO and chairman -- would purchase an additional 172 million shares for $2.34 billion.

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The move has dropped Vivendi's ownership from 61.1 percent to 12 percent.

The company's CEO provided $100 million personally to finance the deal. Speaking to Reuters, Kotick said that the game developer is now exploring growth and developing opportunities, but will operate "as usual" in the meantime.

Kotick would not reveal any details concerning the video game publisher's future. However, the CEO did say that managing the company would be easier now it is independent.

"It makes it a lot easier to manage the business when you have one independent view and you don't have to consider the issues of the majority shareholder," Kotick said. "It's business as usual. The single biggest change now is that we will have an undistracted focus on all of the opportunities and challenges in our business."

Console devices and game sales have dropped industry-wide in response to mobile gaming, subscription-based models and ageing consoles. However, Activision is one of many game publishers which is pinning future financial hopes on the introduction of both Sony and Microsoft's new gaming consoles -- the Playstation 4 and Xbox One -- which are due to go on sale in the holiday season.

Activision has warned that the firm is likely to incur heavy marketing costs in the second half of this year due to the releases. In addition, although the new consoles' success cannot be predicted, Kotick remains optimistic.

"Every console cycle that we've seen from 1990 has done better than the prior cycle and you keep building audiences and products that appeal to broader demographics. I don't have a crystal ball but there's a lot to be enthusiastic about."

Topic: Tech Industry

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