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Activision shares fall on stock sales by CEO, co-chairman

They collectively sell more than 3.2 million shares after exercising options due to expire this year and in 2010.

March 13, 2009|Alex Pham

Activision Blizzard Inc.'s shares tumbled Thursday after the Santa Monica game publisher disclosed that its chief executive and its co-chairman had collectively sold more than 3.2 million shares.

Chief Executive Robert Kotick exercised his option to buy 1 million shares priced from 51 cents to $1.03, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday. He then sold more than 1.2 million shares for $10.18 apiece, netting $11.76 million.

Co-Chairman Brian G. Kelly sold 2 million shares for a total of $20.85 million, according to the SEC filings. Last week, Kelly exercised options to buy 4.3 million shares at $1.03 a share. He sold them all for $10.09 to $10.14 a share, netting about $39 million.

Activision's shares fell as much as 9.5% during regular trading but recovered to close down 43 cents, or 4%, at $9.99. They are up nearly 16% in 2009.

Kotick and Kelly received their options in 1999 and 2000, and they were due to expire this year and next. Kotick still owns 1.85% of the company, including 3 million restricted shares and options for an additional 21 million shares.

"Bobby remains one of Activision's largest individual shareholders, with a substantial portion of his net worth invested in the company," Activision spokeswoman Maryanne Lataif said. "He remains confident in both the company's prospects and in the overall strength of the video game sector."

In other game industry news, THQ Inc. of Calabasas said Chief Accounting Officer Rasmus van der Colff had left the company for undisclosed reasons.

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alex.pham@latimes.com

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