The Xbox maker announced on Tuesday that it intends to acquire Activision Blizzard for $95 per share, in an all-cash transaction valued at $68.7 billion.
The deal, which will give Microsoft exclusive ownership of Call of Duty, Warcraft, Overwatch, Crash Bandicoot, Guitar Hero and more, is expected to close during Microsoft’s fiscal year ending on June 30, 2023.
According to filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Bobby Kotick held 3,908,698 Activision Blizzard shares as of August 7, 2021.
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Activision Blizzard is due to file an updated proxy statement with the SEC in connection with the Microsoft transaction in due course, but based on Kotick’s previously disclosed ownership, at $95 per share his stock would be valued at $371,326,310.
However, Kotick potentially stands to make millions more from the deal, should Microsoft decide to part ways with the controversial exec.
It was confirmed on Tuesday that Kotick will continue to serve as the CEO of Activision Blizzard throughout the acquisition process.
Once the deal closes, the Activision Blizzard business will report to Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer. However, today’s announcement didn’t specify whether Kotick will leave Activision Blizzard once the deal is complete.
According to a proxy statement filing with the SEC last year, Kotick is the sole Activision Blizzard executive to hold change-of-control protection that would reward him financially in the event that he’s replaced following a takeover.
“Upon a termination of employment by us without cause or for good reason during the 12-month period following a change of control, Mr. Kotick would have received” payments and benefits totalling $292,970,341, had the event occurred in December 2020.
In July 2021, Activision Blizzard was sued by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing because of its reported failure to handle sexual harassment and discrimination against female employees.
A Wall Street Journal report last November claimed Kotick was aware of various sexual misconduct allegations and had even personally blocked the termination of former Treyarch boss Bunting after the Call of Duty veteran was accused of sexual harassment in 2017.
Almost 20% of Activision Blizzard’s approximately 10,000 employees have signed a petition calling for Kotick to resign – something he reportedly told senior managers he would be willing to do if he couldn’t “quickly fix” the culture problems at the company.
Earlier this week it was revealed that Activision Blizzard has got rid of 37 employees and a further 44 have been disciplined as part of its investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and other misconduct.