Majority stakeholder in Activision Blizzard considering sale

By on June 7, 2012, 6:30 PM

Vivendi, the multimedia conglomerate based in Paris that owns a controlling 61 percent stake in Activision Blizzard, may be considering a sale of some or all of their shares in the gaming company. Discussions are said to be taking place starting June 22 at an annual three-day senior executive meeting in Corsica, according to people with knowledge of the matter as reported by Bloomberg.

It is said that Chairman Jean-Rene Fourtou would want to sell the Activision stake in order to “unlock value from assets he has said are at a discount because of the holding structure at Vivendi.” Vivendi shares are down 28 percent in the past 12 months and the idea to convert some assets into cash looks promising, but not everyone believes it’s in the company’s best interest.

Analyst Claudio Aspesi from Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. feels that such a move could be actionable but it also comes with the risk of being a short-term solution to a larger problem. Aspesi brings up a valid point about the decision being a short-term solution.

“Six to 12 months from now, questions will pop up again. What happens next? Why does it makes sense to keep the rest of the assets together? Is there any strategy?”

A Vivendi spokesperson told Bloomberg that the Corsica meeting has taken place every year since 2005 and isn’t a platform for quick decisions but rather a forum for exchange and discussion.

Activision is the company’s fourth largest business and was the second fastest growing asset last year. The gaming company posted sales of $4.76 billion last year, led primarily by the ever-popular Call of Duty franchise.




User Comments: 12

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3DCGMODELER 3DCGMODELER said:

wow.... money money...

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Oh look, a shiny new comment system!

You still can't seen embedded images on the comment section, though.

As for the article, well, I think it's good they want to get rid of Activision. To be honest only WoW and CoD are making them money. I assume with the inevitable demise of CoD in the near future, and with new MMOs really shaping up to shake up the genre (such as Guild Wars 2 or The Elder Scrolls Online), I think this is nothing but a preemptive maneuver.

Well, maybe not...

Xero07 said:

The french had a controlling stake in the call of duty series? that explains a lot.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Oh look, a shiny new comment system!

You still can't seen embedded images on the comment section, though.

As for the article, well, I think it's good they want to get rid of Activision. To be honest only WoW and CoD are making them money. I assume with the inevitable demise of CoD in the near future, and with new MMOs really shaping up to shake up the genre (such as Guild Wars 2 or The Elder Scrolls Online), I think this is nothing but a preemptive maneuver.

Well, maybe not...

You forgot Diablo 3, that sold tons and is going to have expansion packs and the real money auction.

Guest said:

And Starcraft 2 !

Ranger1st Ranger1st said:

yes, at the rate blizzard releases mediocre titles we'll have the final of the 3 starcraft II products by the time my centennial birthday comes along. So done with blizzard.

MilwaukeeMike said:

yes, at the rate blizzard releases mediocre titles we'll have the final of the 3 starcraft II products by the time my centennial birthday comes along. So done with blizzard.

Blizzard releases games very strategically so as not to caniballize their own products. For example... WoW membership drops in the few months before an expansion. Last time during the slow period before WoW's 3rd expansion Starcraft 2 came out. Right now is the slow period before the 4th expansion and Diablo just came out.

They have a public release schedule that outlines the next few years and all their big releases are staggered with each other so the same audience can enjoy all their games.

Raswan Raswan said:

yes, at the rate blizzard releases mediocre titles we'll have the final of the 3 starcraft II products by the time my centennial birthday comes along. So done with blizzard.

I suppose it is going to get increasingly popular to rip on Blizzard for no other reason than they were top dog for so long, and are owned by Activision. I'm sure their 4.xx billion in earnings will only be small consolation as they laugh all the way to the bank.

Guest said:

Not as good as they once where....

Guest said:

oops. I meant were :)

NeoFryBoy said:

I suppose it is going to get increasingly popular to rip on Blizzard for no other reason than they were top dog for so long, and are owned by Activision. I'm sure their 4.xx billion in earnings will only be small consolation as they laugh all the way to the bank.

Except they aren't owned by Activision. Activision has no say in anything Blizzard does. It was just a title change so that A could bum off the popularity of B.

Guest said:

Ranger1st,

Not sure if serious. Don't mix WOW and Diablo 3 with SC2. SC2 is an improved SC1 game, while D3 is more dummed down from D2. Until Company of Heroes 2 is released next year, Starcraft 2 is hands down the best RTS game on the PC today.

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