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Activision sets launch date for $2.5 billion credit

Visitors look at a presentation at the ActiVision Blizzard exhibition stand during the Gamescom 2013 fair in Cologne August 21, 2013. REUTER
Visitors look at a presentation at the ActiVision Blizzard exhibition stand during the Gamescom 2013 fair in Cologne August 21, 2013. REUTER

By Natalie Wright

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Video game publisher Activision Blizzard is expected to launch September 4 its new $2.5 billion credit backing the company's plan to spin itself off from Vivendi and buy back shares, loan investors told Thomson Reuters LPC.

The loan package is expected to include a $2.25 billion term loan B and a $250 million revolving credit facility.

The company has received commitments from Bank of America Merrill Lynch and JP Morgan for the bank financing. Activision also plans to issue $1 billion of secured notes and $1.5 billion of unsecured notes, according to an August 1 SEC filing.

Activision plans to fund the purchase of 429 million of its shares from Vivendi with a combination of $1.2 billion in cash on hand and $4.75 billion in debt financing, according to the filing. The transaction is expected to close by the end of September.

Activision is buying the shares back for $5.83 billion, or $13.60 per share.

Separately, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick and Co-Chairman Brian Kelly will purchase 172 million shares for $2.34 billion.

After the transaction, Vivendi will no longer be the majority shareholder, but will retain a stake of 83 million shares, or approximately 12 percent.

Activision Blizzard, Inc. is a worldwide online, personal computer, video game console, handheld, and mobile game publisher.

(Editing By Jon Methven)

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