Activision Blizzard Inc. and a group led by Chief Executive Officer Bobby Kotick agreed to buy out most of Vivendi SA’s stake in the biggest U.S. video-game publisher for $8.17 billion, ending five years of control by the French media and telecommunications company.

The maker of “Call of Duty” and “World of Warcraft” will take on debt to purchase shares held by Paris-based Vivendi for $13.60 each, or $5.83 billion in total. Kotick and his partners, who include co-Chairman Brian Kelly, Chinese video- game publisher Tencent Holdings Ltd., Davis Advisors and Leonard Green & Partners, will pay $2.34 billion. Activision’s shares soared as much as 17 percent in U.S. trading.

Subscribe Now

Complete access to real-time information and analysis of news and trends in the industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.