Judge-Approved $275 Million Activision Buyout Settlement Also Awards Attorneys $9,500 Per Hour

by Mike Futter on May 21, 2015 at 03:19 AM

Last November, Activision agreed to a settlement with an investor over the $8 billion deal that freed the publisher from Vivendi Universal. A Judge has finally approved that deal, with details emerging on how it will be paid.

The lawsuit brought by Anthony Pacchia alleged that the buyout gave certain parties access to discounted share value rates. The suit is considered a “derivative” action, as Pacchia sued on behalf of Activision against a small group, namely CEO Robert Kotick’s investor group. The resulting deal gave 24.9 percent control to Kotick and co-chairman Brian Kelly’s group.

Judge Travis Laster of Delaware’s Court of Chancery approved the settlement, which sees $275 million paid to the Activision corporate treasury by a combination of Vivendi, the investor group, and insurers. The judge also awarded $72.5 million to attorneys that litigated the case, calculated at an hourly rate of $9,500.

This settlement represents the largest for this type of case.

[Source: Reuters]


Our Take
While we knew some of the details of this settlement last year, the attorney fees cast new light on how vigorously these matters are litigated. According to the Reuters report, the fee award is calculated at $9,500 per hour, which Judge Laster says is justified given the nature of the case and the effort put in.