Sections

Vivendi still looking to unload Activision Blizzard

French telecom weighing options as publisher brass reportedly interested in buying back some of parent company's stake

Another record year of revenues for Activision Blizzard has done nothing to change parent company Vivendi's stance on trying to sell the game publisher. In announcing its quarterly results yesterday, the French telecom giant said the Vivendi-controlled Activision Blizzard board of directors was still weighing multiple options regarding the possible sale of the publisher.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Activision Blizzard management is interested in using stockpiled cash reserves to buy back a chunk of Vivendi's 61.2 percent ownership in the publisher. Vivendi has controlled the game company since 2008, when an $18.9 billion merger saw the telecom's existing Blizzard Entertainment and Vivendi Games merged with Activision.

Vivendi has been looking to sell Activision Blizzard since last summer, but found few takers for its share of the publisher, which was worth more than $8 billion on the open market. One of the company's key priorities for 2013 is to boost cash flow and pay down its debt, which is expected to stand at about €12.5 billion ($16.09 billion) once a handful of existing subsidiary sales are completed.

Related stories

Call of Duty Steam player base down sharply

Infinite Warfare's opening weekend sees peak player counts one-quarter of those posted last year by Black Ops III

By Brendan Sinclair

Blizzard's Overwatch eSports league to emphasise financial stability

Teams will be based in specific cities, with players guaranteed a minimum salary and benefits

By Matthew Handrahan

Latest comments (7)

Come on Nintendo. You have enough cash - buy them, it would definitely mix things up...
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Paul Jace Merchandiser 3 years ago
Michael I doubt Activision Blizzard would want(or allow) to be purchased by Nintendo. Those two companies are on completely different courses for the future. Furthermore, when's the last time you saw Nintendo make a purchase for hundreds of millions or more? The only way this would happen is on April 1st.

As for "real" suitors, I doubt anyone is going to want to touch them as long as they are hovering around 8 billion. They may be worth that much but the potential buyer would have to work super hard to be able to turn a profit on an 8 billion dollar purchase. So they will probably continue to go unpurchased until they come down in price.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Robert Oelenschlager Independent Game Developer 3 years ago
Can someone please explain to me why they want to sell Activision Blizzard? I'm no analyst, so I just can't understand what kind of profit they stand to gain from such a deal (if one is ever made) if they're still making money off of these guys.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (7)
Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 3 years ago
@Robert: Oh, i dunno... perhaps they're making LESS money (albeit still a LOT of it) and Vivendi wants to unload before revenues drop to the point where no one wants to buy because that potential purchaser wants an automatic hit-making cash machine running without having to worry about a few years down the road when certain franchises have lost all their momentum?
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Sean Kauppinen Founder & CEO, IDEA3 years ago
Activision Blizzard is a huge company that would pay back the purchaser in 4-5 years. I'm thinking Blackstone or even Berkshire Hathaway could be a suitor for a large cap, cash flow positive business such as this.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Look at used car sales. Thats probably what VIvendi are thinking
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Brandon Roe Product Manager 3 years ago
Well looking at the math, I don't know how much the servers for WoW cost but they have 8 million subscribers, paying what like 15 dollars a month. That equates to 120 million a month that they get. 1,440,000,000 a year. They also get Starcraft and Diablo, That is just on the Blizzard side of things, lets not forget anything Activision does.

While 8 Billion is a lot, I think that they would be able to make back the money and then some, plus Blizzard is about to do a new IP.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.