Activision Blizzard CEO must face lawsuit over $8.2-billion buyout

Did the Activision Blizzard CEO improperly benefit from the $8.2-billion Vivendi buyout?

Activision Blizzard Inc. failed to persuade a judge to toss out a lawsuit that claims the company's board improperly let its chief executive take part in a group that bought a large chunk of the Santa Monica-based video game company.

On Thursday, a Delaware judged ruled that shareholders had raised legitimate concerns about the handling of an $8.2-billion buyout of Vivendi SA's stake in Activision, according to Bloomberg.

In the Delaware Chancery Court lawsuit, investors claimed the company's board improperly let an investment group led by Activision Chief Executive Robert Kotick and Chairman Brian Kelly buy part of the company for $2.34 billion as part of the Vivendi deal. Those shareholders say the board failed to get the investment group to pay a premium for that stake, and should have negotiated a higher price. 

Shareholders also say Kotick and Kelly will now have too much control over the company that makes "Call of Duty."

Meanwhile, Paris-based Vivendi has said it plans to sell half of its remaining Activision shares to the public. That would leave the company owning about 5.8% of Activision. 

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