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Appeal of Activision-Vivendi ruling to be heard October 10

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

(Reuters) - Activision Blizzard Inc will make its argument before Delaware's Supreme Court next month to overturn a lower court's surprise decision to halt the video game company's planned $8.2 billion deal with French media conglomerate Vivendi SA.

The state's high court said on Monday it had scheduled arguments for October 10.

Delaware Court of Chancery judge Travis Laster temporarily halted the proposed deal on Wednesday.

Activision investor Douglas Hayes had sued the company's board, alleging they breached their duty to shareholders by not putting the deal to a stockholder vote.

Delaware's Supreme Court has a reputation for quickly resolving appeals in large corporate disputes. The court ruled from bench last year to uphold a Court of Chancery decision to halt a hostile bid by Martin Marietta Materials Inc for Vulcan Materials Co.

The Activision deal is considered pivotal for Vivendi as it seeks to streamline its diverse portfolio.

Under the deal, Activision said it would buy back 429 million shares from Vivendi for $5.83 billion. As part of the terms, an investor group led by Activision Chief Executive Bobby Kotick and Co-Chairman Brian Kelly will separately purchase about 172 million Activision shares from Vivendi for $2.34 billion.

The Activision Blizzard Inc et al v Douglas M. Hayes, Delaware Supreme Court, No. 497, 2013.

(Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; editing by Andrew Hay)

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