Call of Duty
and World of Warcraft
publisher Activision-Blizzard's previously announced deal
to buy back its majority stake from parent company Vivendi hit a new snag today, as the company announced the transaction had been temporarily halted pending the outcome of an ongoing lawsuit.
Last week, Activision-Blizzard shareholder Douglas M. Hayes filed suit against the publisher
through the Delaware Chancery Court. The suit alleges that the company's CEO, chairman and an elite investor group will disproportionately benefit from the buyback, and should instead leave the buyback deal to a vote by non-Vivendi stockholders, such as the plaintiff. As a result of the filing, Activision-Blizzard has come under a preliminary enjoiner from the court, forcing the company to temporarily halt its buyback proceedings until either the injunction is successfully appealed or the purchase is approved by vote.
In the midst of this, Activision-Blizzard released a statement reaffirming its commitment to the stock buyback from Vivendi, as it outlined in July
. The company added that it is "exploring the steps it will take to complete the transaction as expeditiously as possible." This may mean acquiescing to a vote from non-Vivendi stockholders or continuing to campaign for an appeal to modify the injunction.