$8 billion stock sale cut ties with Vivendi, but another shareholder claims unjust enrichment

Second suit seeks to block Activision deal

Shareholder Douglas Hayes has sued Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, co-chairman Brian Kelly, and Vivendi to prevent a stock sale that some call insider trading.

The $8 billion deal, which freed the US publisher from a 60 percent controlling interest held by Vivendi, gave 25 percent of the company to the ASAC II LP group lead by Kotick and Kelly.

Since the 172 million shares were purchased for $2.3 billion at the same discounted price offered Activision, multiple shareholders have now sought to bar the agreement on grounds of unjust enrichment.

According to Bloomberg, the suit filed by Hayes on Wednesday in Delaware’s Chancery Court claims the sale would “unjustly enrich Kelly, Kotic and the other participants.”

The 25 percent stake awarded in the proposed deal would make the ASAC II group the largest single shareholder.

This isn’t the first time a shareholder has sued to stop the deal; in August Todd Miller filed another suit on similar grounds asking the court to stop the trade and force Activision to put measures in place to “prevent future one-sided self-dealing.”

"There was no apparent business purpose in allowing the insider investor group to participate in the discounted stock offering, other than to aggrandize defendants Kotick and Kelly and provide billions of dollars’ worth of Activision stock to the insider investor group at a discounted price,” read the complaint.

Activision followed up the news of the split with Vivendi by posting a 75 percent jump in profits, and stocks have risen from $15.18 to $17.19 a share since the deal was announced.

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