UPDATE 1-Delaware high court clears way for Activision-Vivendi deal
* Ruling clears the way for closing by Tuesday deadline
* Deal key for Vivendi to streamline holdings
* Activision stock spikes
DOVER, Del., Oct 10 (Reuters) - The Delaware Supreme Court swept aside a lower court order on Thursday that had halted Activision Blizzard Inc's $8.2 billion deal to buy back its stock from Vivendi SA.
Chief Justice Myron Steele said after an hour of arguments that the court's five justices unanimously found the lower court had erred when it blocked the deal because Activision shareholders were not given the chance to vote on it.
The ruling clears the way for the deal to close by its deadline of Tuesday, when Vivendi could have walked away.
The French media and telecoms conglomerate agreed in July to sell most of its stake in the publisher of the blockbuster "Call of Duty" videogame series.
The deal is a key part of Vivendi's drive to streamline its diverse portfolio of investments it built up in a frantic 1990s spending spree. Activision argued the deal would create $1 billion of value for its shareholders.
But last month things hit a snag when an individual shareholder, Douglas Hayes, filed a lawsuit against the deal unless shareholders got a chance to vote.
A week later, judge Travis Laster of the lower Court of Chancery took the rare step of halting the deal on Sept. 18 after finding it required shareholder approval.
While Activision had said that if it couldn't overturn Laster's opinion it expected it would obtain shareholder approval, the legal snag injected uncertainty around the deal.
Shares of Activision jumped after the Supreme Court ruling and were up about 4 percent at $16.90 in the early afternoon. They had been up about 2 percent before the ruling.
Michael Hanrahan, an attorney for Prickett, Jones & Elliott in Wilmington, Delaware, who argued for Hayes, declined to comment.