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Vivendi ‘planning sale of Activision Blizzard’
Posted on Friday, 13 July 2012 14:49
French telecoms firm Vivendi could sell its stake in video games subsidiary Activision Blizzard, according to Bloomberg, citing an interview with the company’s chairman Jean-Rene Fourtou.
Fourtou, speaking at the Allen & Co. media conference in Idaho, said a divestment of the 61.0 per cent holding, which the news provider reported as being worth USD 8.10 billion, was a possibility.
Bloomberg also cited three people with knowledge of the matter as saying that Vivendi is looking for videogame and entertainment companies to buy the firm and hopes to offload the stake in exchange for a cash payment.
They added that Walt Disney Co, Microsoft, Tencent Holdings and Nexon Co are among those to have been approached, but another person with knowledge of Disney’s plans said it was unlikely to bid.
An additional source stated that Microsoft is not currently mulling making an offer, but went on to say that this could change.
Bloomberg, citing a further person with knowledge of proceedings, said that a sale of Activision shares on the market could be considered, should Vivendi be unable to find an acquiror.
Activision Blizzard is headquartered in Santa Monica and publishes games for PC, console, handheld, online and mobile users.
The company is best known for the Call of Duty line of games, and previously distributed the Guitar Hero series.
It has an extensive international presence, with activities in the UK, Australia and China, among others.
Vivendi provides mass media and telecommunications services and according to its website, currently holds stakes in the world leader in the video games (Activision Blizzard) and music sectors (Universal Music Group), in addition to a number of regional leaders including Canal+ and Maroc Telecom.
It is active in the mobile and fixed line telecommunications, television, music and video games sectors and had more than 58,300 staff at the end of 2011.
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