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15th Feb 2022

Warren Buffett bought $1bn stake in Activision just weeks before Microsoft buy out

Danny Jones

Warren Buffett bought Activision Blizzard stakes before acquisition

Because of course he did

Multi-billionaire and current sixth richest man in the world, Warren Buffett, reportedly bought a $1bn stake in Activision Blizzard just weeks before the video game developers and publishing group was bought by Microsoft.

According to the Financial Times, Buffet acquired a sizeable chunk weeks before the eye-watering acquisition was completed, estimated to be worth $68.7bn.

ATVI, as it is registered on the stock exchange, held a closing share price of $81.50 on the Monday before the sale on January 18, meaning that the stake would be worth approximately $1.2bn.

While it has not been disclosed whether Buffett’s group still holds a stake in the video game company post-acquisition, we’d say it’s a fairly safe bet that his Berkshire Hathaway holding company is very much serving its purpose. The outlet goes on to explain a securities filing for the purchase of $14.7m in shares was registered late on Monday evening.

Activision Blizzard itself is a holding company that also includes, the popular mobile game developer and publisher behind Candy Crush. Combine that with franchises like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft and it’s easy to see how lucrative a move this was for all parties involved.

Activision Blizzard buyout

Berkshire is the 91-year-old’s multinational conglomerate with a large and varied portfolio; for a business magnate of his calibre, the only surprise is that he didn’t invest in the world’s biggest entertainment industry sooner.

While Buffett doesn’t seem to attract the same anti-billionaire sentiment as Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos or even the ex-Microsoft CEO and chairman Bill Gates, purchasing a sizeable stake in a company still very much in the midst of numerous workplace practice lawsuits is questionable.

Even prior to their merger, both Activision and Blizzard higher-ups had been accused of sexual misconduct and gender-based discrimination, as well as untenable workplace conditions that revolved heavily around “crunching“.

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