Microsoft wasn’t the only company out to acquire Activision Blizzard

Multiple companies expressed interest.

Screengrab via Xbox

Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard gave the gaming industry a jolt when it was announced back on Jan. 18, but the green giant apparently wasn’t the only company looking to make an opportunistic play.

In a regulatory filing released by Activision Blizzard last week, it was revealed that several other companies and individuals expressed interest in acquiring Activision Blizzard. Attention gathered following the Nov. 16 Wall Street Journal report that Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick knew about the company’s history of sexual misconduct. Xbox CEO Phil Spencer began talks with Kotick on Nov. 19. On Jan. 18, both companies shocked the gaming world. However, the regulatory filing reveals that the deal could have potentially gone in several different directions.

Another company, referred to as “Company A,” made Activision Blizzard an offer on Dec. 3 with a heavy stock component as opposed to Microsoft’s all-cash offer. Ultimately, Activision Blizzard decided a stock-heavy offer wouldn’t be comparable to Microsoft’s.

On Dec. 6, an unnamed individual contacted Brian Kelly, the chairman of the Activision Blizzard Board of Directors, with an offer to acquire the companies Blizzard business unit. The offer came on the same day as Activision Blizzard and Microsoft entered a non-disclosure agreement for Activision Blizzard to begin sharing confidential information with Microsoft.

Individual B’s offer raised questions from the Activision Blizzard board members. The board had concerns about B’s ability to handle a transaction of this magnitude. The directors also expressed doubts with Individual B’s ability to keep their discussion under wraps given the previous dealings between the two parties.

Talks with three other unnamed major players occurred, but negotiations ultimately went the way of Microsoft. Identities of the parties discussed in the regulatory filing remain unnamed.