Microsoft will acquire Activision Blizzard for $95.00 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at $68.7 billion, inclusive of Activision Blizzard’s net cash.
Microsoft will become the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue when the transaction closes, behind Tencent and Sony. The planned acquisition includes franchises from Activision, Blizzard and King studios like “Warcraft,” “Diablo,” “Overwatch,” “Call of Duty” and “Candy Crush” in addition to global esports activities through Major League Gaming.
The company has studios around the world with nearly 10,000 employees. Bobby Kotick will continue to serve as chief executive officer, Activision Blizzard, and his team will focus on further driving efforts to further strengthen the company’s culture and accelerate business growth. Once thedeal closes, the Activision Blizzard business will report to Phil Spencer, chief executive officer, Microsoft Gaming.
“Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms,” says Satya Nadella, chairman and chief executive officer, Microsoft. “We’re investing deeply in world-class content, community and the cloud to usher in a new era of gaming that puts players and creators first and makes gaming safe, inclusive and accessible to all.”
“Players everywhere love Activision Blizzard games, and we believe the creative teams have their best work in front of them,” says Spencer. “Together, we will build a future where people can play the games they want, virtually anywhere they want.”
“For more than 30 years, our incredibly talented teams have created some of the most successful games,” says Kotick. “The combination of Activision Blizzard’s world-class talent and extraordinary franchises with Microsoft’s technology, distribution, access to talent, ambitious vision and shared commitment to gaming and inclusion will help ensure our continued success in an increasingly competitive industry.”
The acquisition also bolsters Microsoft’s Game Pass portfolio with plans to launch Activision Blizzard games into Game Pass, which has reached a new milestone of over 25 million subscribers. With Activision Blizzard’s nearly 400 million monthly active players in 190 countries and three billion-dollar franchises, this acquisition will make Game Pass one of the most compelling and diverse lineups of gaming content in the industry. Upon close, Microsoft will have 30 internal game development studios and other publishing and esports production capabilities.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and completion of regulatory review and Activision Blizzard’s shareholder approval. The deal is expected to close in the fiscal year 2023 and will be accretive to non-GAAP earnings per share upon close. The boards have approved the transaction of directors of both Microsoft and Activision Blizzard.
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