Buffett: Berkshire now owns 9.5% of Activision Blizzard

·Technology Editor
·2-min read

Warren Buffett announced on Saturday that Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A, BRK-B) now owns a whopping 9.5% of video game giant Activision Blizzard (ATVI).

The announcement, which the CEO made during Berkshire’s annual shareholders meeting, means that if Microsoft’s (MSFT) pending purchase of Activision Blizzard receives regulatory approval, the conglomerate should see a sizable return.

“We now own 9.5%, something like, 9.5% of Activision,” Buffett said. “It is my purchases, not the manager, who bought it some months ago. And if the deal goes through we make some money, and if the deal doesn't go through who knows what happens.”

The stake, which is worth some $6 billion, is a large increase from the $1 billion Berkshire Hathaway purchased before Microsoft announced it is buying Activision Blizzard.

Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett seen at the annual Berkshire shareholder shopping day in Omaha, Nebraska, U.S., May 3, 2019.   REUTERS/Scott Morgan
Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett seen at the annual Berkshire shareholder shopping day in Omaha, Nebraska, U.S., May 3, 2019. REUTERS/Scott Morgan

Buffett said his decision came down to the fact that Microsoft’s purchase values Activision Blizzard at $95 per share. Activision Blizzard was trading at $75.60 per share as of the close of markets on Friday.

Berkshire initially took a stake in Activision Blizzard prior to Microsoft’s decision to purchase the firm on Jan. 18 for $68.7 billion. According to Buffett, one of Berkshire’s managers chose to make the deal at the time. After Microsoft announced the deal, however, Buffett said that he decided to purchase additional shares of his own volition.

The 91-year-old CEO also wanted the audience to know that he hasn’t spoken to anyone at Microsoft and doesn’t know what the Justice Department or European Union will do as far as approving the purchase.

Microsoft moved to purchase Activision Blizzard following a slew of controversies at the video game publisher including allegations that the company fostered a frat-like atmosphere rife with sexual harassment and discrimination against women.

In March, Activision Blizzard agreed to pay $18 million to settle a suit related to the allegations filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

More recently, The Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and her then-boyfriend Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick were accused of previously using Facebook’s public relations team in 2016 and 2019 to quash a story about a protection order Kotick’s ex-girlfriend filed against him in 2014.

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