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Vivendi sells 35m Activision shares

Stock shifted at unknown prices as parent remains "committed"

Activision Blizzard's parent company Vivendi has sold 35 million shares in the publisher at an unknown rate, in a deal which is thought to have raised around $425 million.

Share prices the morning of the sale stood at $12.28 a piece.

Vivendi issued a statement saying that it had no intentions of abandoning the 60 per cent share in the company which it retains.

"This is a tactical disposal with regards to our overall capital structure, and we remain committed to Activision and to being the main shareholder," Reuters reports a Vivendi spokesperson saying.

Vivendi also made clear to press that the sale was not made to fund the company's recently announced acquisition of EMI, although no alternative was offered.

At the time of writing, Activision's shares were down 4 per cent on the day's trading.

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Latest comments (8)

Thomas Luecking5 years ago
Pre-emptive measures in the wake of dropping WoW subscriptions I would guess...
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John Donnelly Quality Assurance 5 years ago
Thomas, I would advise you to look at the make up of the Vivendi business and what parts make the most money for them. Gaming has been a bigger slice of the profits for the last few years.
Also, its a well known fact that sooner or later WOW will lose its player base and will one day close.

Finally Vivendi, who owned Blizzard outright before they merged Vivendi games with Activision Publishing have made a huge amount of money from WOW, far in excess of what anyone ever expected to earn from an MMO.

My opinion is that they need some liquid cash as part of the purchase of the EMI assets and are divesting shares rather than borrowing.
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Jonah Falcon Writer 5 years ago
Translation:

Vivendi: "Modern Warfare 3 is making a crapton of cash and we want to get some of that capital for our treasure chest, kthx."
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Show all comments (8)
Thomas Luecking5 years ago
Exactly! ActBliz is the only public Videogame publisher being positively evaluated at the stock markets for the last 4 years. One of the main reasons surely is the steady income stream of WoW subscribers. Once this won't exist any more, ActBliz will have to face the common profit grinding business of the rest of the large publishers and will struggle for net incomes. Therefore this might be the best time for shareholders to turn some of these shares into cash money.
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Graham Simpson Tea boy, Collins Stewart5 years ago
This has nothing to do with MW3 churn or falling WoW subs or any other ATVI is dying type conspiracy. The fact is over the last few years ATVI has spent >$3.5bn buying back its own shares. This has had the effect of indirectly increasing Vivendi's holding from 57% to 65% over the period. All Vivendi is doing is reducing it's holding back to near the original size when they merged. Think of the proceeds of the sale of ATVI shares as an indirect wealth transfer in absence of larger dividends from ATVI. Vivendi will put the cash towards the 1.2bn purcahse of EMI Music also announced this week.

Sorry conspiracy theorists. No drama here.
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Stefano Ronchi Indie Game Developer 5 years ago
I think it's just a shame that a company such as Vivendi owns such an innovative company as Blizzard. But that is the way of the money.
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John Donnelly Quality Assurance 5 years ago
Stefano, I have a few questions for you.

Do you know how long Vivendi have been in control of Blizzard?
Did you know that Vivendi took a huge risk with funding development of WoW?

The Blizzard management have been allowed to run the business with limited control from the Vivendi board and it was made clear during the merger that Blizzard would be more or less left alone.

Vivendi also have a number of other media assets including TV and music so in my opinion it makes them an ideal parent company for Blizzard.

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Private VIdeo Games 5 years ago
Nothing to see here :)
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