The shareholders of Activision Blizzard massively approve of the acquisition by Microsoft
It was only a formality but the evidence is now before us: the shareholders of Activision Blizzard voted 98% in favor of the acquisition proposal at 69 billion dollars formulated on January 18 by Microsoft.
The detail of the general meeting is not yet available, but the rare recalcitrants undoubtedly hide behind the Soc Investment Group, militant shareholders holding a small participation which had already declared themselves openly against the possible golden parachute which will be Offered to Bobby Kotick, disputed CEO of Activision Blizzard whose departure is strongly expected once the offer is finalized. Obviously, their call to vote against Microsoft’s offer was not heard by the other members of the Assembly.
The shareholders’ vote was not the last obstacle before the adoption of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft, but this is a step that validates the titanic operation of Satya Nadella and Phil Spencer a little more. At the rate of an offer at 95 dollars per share and a payment entirely in cash, Microsoft’s proposal is still well above the current course of Activision Blizzard which revolves around 76 dollars. As a reminder, the sum of $ 68.7 billion represented a bonus of 45% at the time of the announcement of the takeover. By way of comparison, the acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk for $ 44 billion represents a premium of 38% compared to the evaluation that Wall Street made.
“_The massive support for our shareholders today confirms our common conviction that, combined with Microsoft, we will be even better positioned to create great value for our players, even greater opportunities for our employees, and to continue to us Concentrate on our goal of becoming an example inspiring with a welcoming, respectful and inclusive workplace, “said Bobby Kotick.
FTC, last serious obstacle
To do this, it will still be necessary to obtain the green light from the federal Trade Commission, a government agency in charge of controlling anti-competitive commercial practices and other monopoly situations. As Bloomberg explains, part of Wall Street fears that the FTC, whose powers have recently been reinforced by the Biden government, puts sticks in the wheels of this massive operation which has until June 2023 (fence of Microsoft’s next fiscal year) to find a favorable outcome. Under the supervision of Lina Khan, the regulator has already distinguished itself earlier this year by torping the massive acquisition of the company ARM by NVIDIA, which had put $ 40 billion on the table for the semiconductor giant.
Once Activision Blizzard integrated and with him deductibles like Call of Duty, Warcraft, Overwatch, Diablo or Crash Bandicoot, Microsoft’s video game turnover could quickly surpass that of Sony for the first time in its history and get closer of that of Tencent Games, current world number 1. A perspective that is not enough to wave the spectrum of an overwhelming monopoly in the very large and growing video game industry.