San Fransisco (US), January 19: Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard, a leading U.S. video game company, for 95 U.S. dollars per share, in an all-cash transaction valued at 68.7 billion dollars, inclusive of Activision Blizzard's net cash.
This acquisition will accelerate growth in Microsoft's gaming business across mobile, PC, console and cloud and will provide building blocks for the metaverse, Microsoft said in a press release.
According to its announcement, Microsoft will become the world's third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony when the transaction closes.
The planned acquisition includes iconic franchises from Activision, Blizzard and King studios in addition to global eSports activities through Major League Gaming. Activision Blizzard has studios around the world with nearly 10,000 employees, the press release said.
Through the deal, Microsoft will have 30 internal game development studios, along with additional publishing and esports production capabilities, it added.
According to the press release, Bobby Kotick will continue to serve as CEO of Activision Blizzard, the team will maintain their focus on driving efforts to further strengthen the company's culture and accelerate business growth. Once the deal closes, the Activision Blizzard business will report to Phil Spencer, CEO of 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," said Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO of Microsoft.
The deal is expected to close in fiscal year 2023, said Microsoft, adding that the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and completion of regulatory review and Activision Blizzard's shareholder approval.
The deal has been approved by the boards of directors of both Microsoft and Activision Blizzard.