Microsoft To Buy Activision Blizzard In $68.7 Bln Deal; Game Pass To Add Activision Blizzard Games

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Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) said it plans to acquire Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI) for $95.00 per share, in an all-cash deal valued at $68.7 billion, inclusive of Activision Blizzard's net cash. The planned acquisition includes iconic franchises from the Activision, Blizzard and King studios like Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Call of Duty and Candy Crush in addition to global eSports activities through Major League Gaming. Bobby Kotick will continue to serve as CEO of Activision Blizzard. The Activision Blizzard business will report to Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft Gaming.

Microsoft said the acquisition will accelerate the growth in its gaming business across mobile, PC, console and cloud and will provide building blocks for the metaverse. The company noted that, with the acquisition, it will become the world's third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony.

The acquisition is expected to close in fiscal 2023. Microsoft said the deal will be accretive to non-GAAP earnings per share upon close. It also bolsters Microsoft's Game Pass portfolio with plans to launch Activision Blizzard games into Game Pass. When the transaction closes, Microsoft will have 30 internal game development studios, along with additional publishing and esports production capabilities.

Shares of Activision Blizzard were up 35% in pre-market trade on Tuesday.

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