Vivendi seeks buyer for its $8.1-bn stake in Activision Blizzard: report
13 July 2012
French mass media and telecommunication company Vivendi SA may sell its stake in video game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc worth $8.1 billion, Bloomberg yesterday reported, citing an interview with the company's chairman Jean Rene-Fourtou.
''It's a possibility,'' Fourtou said in an interview at the Allen & Co media conference in Idaho. Asked if he was trying to find a buyer for the 61-per cent stake of Activision Blizzard, Fourtou said, ''We're always looking at opportunities for all of our businesses.''
Paris-based Vivendi has been canvassing for a deal for its stake in Activision Blizzard and has approached buyers like Walt Disney Co, Microsoft Corp, China's Tencent Holdings and Japan's Nexon Co, said the paper.
Santa Monica, California-based Activision Blizzard, formed through the $18.8 \-billion merger between Activision and Vivendi Games in 2007, is the largest US video-game publisher with blockbuster games that includes Call of Duty and World of War Craft.
It is the only publisher with leading market positions across all categories of the video game industry.
Its portfolio includes best-selling video games such as Spider-Man, X-Men, James Bond and Transformers, leading franchises such as Spyro and Blizzard Entertainment's StarCraft, Diablo, and Warcraft franchises.
Activision Blizzard has operations in the US, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, India, China, South Korea and Taiwan.
The company has a market capitalisation of $13.2 billion, and posted net profit of $1.1 billion in 2011 on revenues of $4.8 billion. It had $3.48 billion in cash and no debt as of the first quarter.