After news hit that a second Activision shareholder had filed a lawsuit against the company for its plan to split from parent company Vivendi, it seems that a Delaware court has put the deal on hold while the legal situation is sorted out.
According to a press release published by Activision Blizzard, the court has put a stop to the Vivendi split deal until the injunction filed by the second stockholder—Douglas Hayes—is “modified on appeal or the transaction is approved by a stockholder vote of the non-Vivendi stockholders.” What that means is basically the deal has to pass a vote held by those owning stock in Activision Blizzard who aren’t also shareholders in Vivendi.
So what happens next?
“Activision Blizzard remains committed to the transaction and is exploring the steps it will take to complete the transaction as expeditiously as possible,” reads the press release. That’s kind of open ended, and could mean all manner of things are going to happen on Activision’s end. I imagine that the folks who hammered out the deal in the first place—CEO Bobby Kotick, co-chairman Brian Kelly, and the rest—are going to try and shore up support among other shareholders by whatever legal means they can should this go to a vote.
But I also wouldn’t be surprised if Kotick and co. were going to try to work out a settlement with Hayes and the other litigant, Todd Miller, to get them to drop the suit entirely. That’d probably work out quickly and relatively easily, leaving much less up to chance than a vote.
That said, it’s also entirely possible that Miller and Hayes aren’t interested in a settlement at all, and would rather see this deal tanked. I’m interested to see what happens next. Stay tuned.