Microsoft made headlines with its initial announcement that it had agreed to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. Today, Activision Blizzard shareholders have voted on the matter.
Today saw Activision Blizzard shareholders successfully voting to approve Microsoft’s acquisition offer with representatives of over 98% of shares reportedly approving the deal, although Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier reports that Wall Street thinks the deal could still fail.
Over-on Twitter and in a Bloomberg article, Schreier indicates that Wall Street believes the deal could fail regardless of how Activision Blizzard’s shareholders have voted.
Schreier says that Activision shares are trading 25% below Microsoft’s offer of $95 a share, adding, “Activision shares have been hovering around $76. Anyone who buys now will receive $95/share if the Microsoft deal is approved. That’s quite a return, with a discrepancy suggesting that the market believes the deal will fail.” Bloomberg’s article states that Betty Chan, Elevation LLC’s merger-arbitrage specialist, expects shareholders will approve the deal. However, it must then face the Federal Trade Commission and its leader Lina Khan, “who has long advocated for a more forceful approach to reviewing deals, particularly by the biggest technology companies.” It seems that the deal could be delayed even if it goes ahead, and Microsoft could face legal difficulties.
If the deal were to be finalized (it has until Microsoft’s fiscal 2023 year ending June 30th, 2023), Microsoft would welcome the teams from Activision Publishing, Blizzard Entertainment, Beenox, Demonware, Digital Legends, High Moon Studios, Infinity Ward, King, Major League Gaming, Radical Entertainment, Raven Software, Sledgehammer Games, Toys for Bob, and Treyarch into the fold, and would gain franchises like Call of Duty and Overwatch.
We’ll be sure to update you when we know more.