Microsoft Corp MSFT on Tuesday announced that it plans to acquire game developer and interactive entertainment content publisher Activision Blizzard Inc ATVI for $95 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at $68.7 billion.
The deal is set to include Activision's iconic franchises including "Call of Duty," "Warcraft," "Diablo," "Overwatch" and "Candy Crush."
Following the closing of the transaction, Microsoft will become the third-largest gaming company by revenue in the world.
"Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms," said Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO of Microsoft.
"We’re investing deeply in world-class content, community and the cloud to usher in a new era of gaming that puts players and creators first and makes gaming safe, inclusive and accessible to all," Nadella added.
WATCH: Wedbush Analyst Michael Pachter reacts to the deal LIVE on PreMarket Prep.
Activision has come under pressure in recent months following reports of sexual misconduct and harassment among the company’s executives.
Under terms of the deal, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick will continue to serve as CEO of Activision. He will focus on driving efforts to further accelerate business growth.
The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both Microsoft and Activision Blizzard. The deal is expected to close in fiscal year 2023.
ATVI, MSFT Price Action: Activision surged higher by more than 35% in pre-market trading before being halted for pending news.
At publication time, Activision was up 36.7% at $89.49 and Microsoft was down 1.27% at $306.20.
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