Activision Blizzard Gets Court OK for Stock Buyback

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The $8.2 billion deal that Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) made to repurchase its stock from France’s Vivendi S.A. was reinstated Thursday afternoon by the Delaware Supreme Court just in time for the maker of the Call of Duty video games to meet its next Tuesday deadline for closing the deal. A lower court had blocked the rule because Activision’s shareholders were not allowed to vote on it.

Activision will pay $13.60 a share for 429 million shares ($5.83 billion), and the company’s CEO and chairman will pay the same per share price for another $172 million shares ($2.34 billion) through an investment vehicle called ASAC II LP. When the deal was announced in late July, Activision said it believed the transaction would yield a pro-forma 2013 earnings per share (EPS) increase of 18% to 29% on a GAAP basis and 23% to 33% on a non-GAAP basis.

A couple of days after the deal was announced Activision’s stock posted an all-time high above $18 a share. Shares have given about half that gain back since then, but are trading up about 3.7% Thursday afternoon at $16.88 in a 52-week range of $10.45 to $18.43.