Vivendi looking to unload Activision Blizzard - Report

Telecom giant plans to sell $8.1 billion stake in Call of Duty and World of Warcraft makers after CEO ousted for opposing restructuring, Bloomberg reports.

Changes are afoot at Vivendi, which earlier this week saw the departure of CEO Jean-Bernard Levy after the executive butted heads with the board of directors on restructuring the company. One such change in the works is the sale of Activision Blizzard, reports Bloomberg.

Who wants to buy the largest third-party publisher in the business?

According to the news service, Vivendi wants to sell its 61 percent stake in the publisher, valued at $8.1 billion. If it can't find a single buyer, it will turn to the open market to unload those shares. The sale was reportedly one of the topics discussed at an executive meeting last week.

Despite Activision Blizzard's success with the Call of Duty series and World of Warcraft, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter suggested Vivendi might not have many suitors for the game maker.

"The problem is there are no readily apparent buyers for Activision," Pachter told Bloomberg. "The only option left to Vivendi is to lever up Activision's balance sheet and pay out all of its cash as a dividend, then spin the company off."

In late 2007, Vivendi announced an $18.9 billion merger between its own games group--which included Blizzard and its World of Warcraft business--and Activision, which at the time was riding high on the success of the Guitar Hero series and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.

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0 comments
aryanbrar
aryanbrar

so does this mean no more yearly milked to death crap call of duty???

kyle756
kyle756

Have valve buy it, combine battle.net with the steam juggernaut. Consoles watch out, the PC return cometh!!!!!!!!!!

WillyChong
WillyChong

Best game in My LIST NOW is under SEGA, THQ and Focus Home Interactive, releasing legendary games which made COD and Battlefield 3 look like small fries, I hope that these companies won't .....ahh fuck it, I doubt these companies won't follow EA and Activision footsteps

Heshertonfist
Heshertonfist

"...after CEO ousted...". For a second, I thought they meant Kotick was gone. What a great second it was.

Zeeksie
Zeeksie

I had a dream... Blizzard became an independent company and Activision ceased to exist. It was beatiful.

j_cain341
j_cain341

This is a compelling story. I do find it a bit silly for Vivendi to give up Activision-Blizzard. Vivendi should of been a bit more aware of what they were getting into. As for what they should do, I believe that this opportunity is perfect for Google or Apple to establish a gaming department. Their hardware is great, now I think they should consider stepping into the gaming industry a bit. Whatever happens though, I hope they allow Blizzard to continue their freedom of creativity. Overall, Blizzard has proven time and time again to be a solid game maker/publisher. The ball is in your court Apple and Google. What are you going to do?

bignick217
bignick217

Fire Kotick, Keep Blizzard, Sell Activision.  Go back to being the Vivendi Games publisher.

Pyerun
Pyerun

If Activision makes the rest of the stock public, expect the prices to fall faster than Facebook stocks did.  Do not buy!!!!!

swamptick
swamptick

I wonder if Microsoft would move in on this.

deathblow3
deathblow3

wow big picture vivendi bought activision for 18 bill and are selling it & blizzard for 8 bill talk about a loss of money

nyran125
nyran125

i would love to see another company wiht the call of duty franchise.

 

Give it to VALVE for free or the ARMA 2 developers. Imagine Call Of Duty from Valve with CODs budget.

gamingfrendly
gamingfrendly

if this is true and someone ever buys it please make sure kotick suffers so many jobs and chances were ruined cuz of that  a hole

tommynj
tommynj

The rise and fall of Blizzard.This is what happens when you milk WoW and create a RMAH for gold sellers. Used to love Blizzard back in the day but oh my have they changed since that time.

Sanguis_Malus
Sanguis_Malus

Pachter this, Pachter that, guy's practically worshipped on GT. A corporate puppet.

Bollocks to Activison & EA for that matter. Business Involves money but these lot only care about profit.

 

zinoalex
zinoalex

NO . I can't see anyone buying it now when sales of games are on the decline. And the industry as a shole is suffering. The casual gamer./ i-whatever gamers are not though. But there is no market for these companies.

nightshadeA
nightshadeA

vivendi has been trying to get out of the game business since they sold univeral to nbc who didnt want the gaming part of it

 

No one else bought it then and i dont think anyones going to buy it now

 

Master_Vexov
Master_Vexov

Have had many years of love for the games Blizzard has made. Activision Blizzard is a different story and I would love to see then burn, i hope this destroys the them. Ya, i not happy with D3 nor what im hearing and reading about WoW. SC2.... i dunno, I guess SC2 could have been far better then what they tried to release, instead they cut the game into 3 pieces for sales. I hope EA buys them out and rips it apart.

JaxxRaxor
JaxxRaxor

Wow talk about alot of trouble at the top. No one person or company who is interested in video games is going to have the money to buy Activison Blizzard, so a spinoff does seem quite plausible

d_kell411
d_kell411

Nobody wants to deal with Kotick: He's ruined Activision's reputation by blatant exploitation of gamers. He doesn't even deny that fact, in fact he's proud of it...who'd want to partner with that?

Renato1984
Renato1984

Ha! Starcraft 2's story line discussed about the price of freedom.

The writers didn't have to go too far from their offices to get their inspiration.

speed45823
speed45823

Now why the hell this doesn't happen to EA? After all, they just make the same ol' sports game with yearly updates n most games which last 5 hours and most importantly, ripping ppl off with their DLCs.

Hatemachine25
Hatemachine25

Well let's see the track record here, D3 has been considered a moderate success, but nowhere NEAR it's predecessors Caliber, WoW has Competition from every angle possible, every Free to play MMO could be considered a paper cut on a Mammoth, but a few Million of those can cause severe damage, the CoD franchise should receive whatever award they give for most prominent Recycling, second only to mother nature herself, (sorry folks biased here as I never truly cared for the series so take that as you will).  So after ALL the heat, all the Hype, and all potential the deal had in 2007, here we are 2012 and the deal looks like a Bust, or at least nowhere NEAR the amount of Capital Vivendi projected. Business and gaming are Harsh mistresses, all parties involved KNEW what they were getting into, the potential for loss is there in any and every decision, so yeah the blame game follows next so ya'll have fun with that.

Mozuckint
Mozuckint

This all being said, at the said stake assuming I'm doing math right:

 

81 million gamers putting up $100 could buy them up :P

deadpeasant
deadpeasant

This could be the end of the world .................. of warcraft. :P

vadagar1
vadagar1

oh blizzard how the mighty has fallen, its always the great giants of the industry that make the biggest thud when they go down in flames...

 

after what you did to D3 and wow you deserve nothing less....

Apastron
Apastron

Why do you continue to quote Michael Pachter?  No one cares what he or any other 'analyst' has to say.  He's basically paid to do what we do in the comments section.

GunnyHath
GunnyHath

Interestingly Vivendi (different name originally) has been around since the 17th century.. and has only in the last 10-20 years got involved in entertainment.. There's an interesting Wiki article, you should check it out.

scarletsnake
scarletsnake

Burn burn down burn down hot topic... Don't let it steal your soul. Burn it down. Hot Topic. Burn it down. Hooot Tooopic.

BravoOneActual
BravoOneActual

This is really sad.  I heard Levy's severance package is only the eight-digit category and he might have to sell his island.  Just to clarify, it's the one in the Florida Keys, not the one near Corsica, so thank God for that.

wizzzer_thy_133
wizzzer_thy_133

i wouldn't be surprised if Blizzard will make COD games in the future....

SauhlGood
SauhlGood

its the touch of kotick...  sort of like king midas, xcept everything he touches turns into crap, but then again EA has the same touch...

who thought letting admen, salespeople, and accountants have so much influence over a games creation, would have adverse effects on a product that is essentially a functional artform.

 

its comparable to hiring a french culinary artist to design and build a citys infrastructure imo

Hakkology
Hakkology

Well the quality of the games Blizzard makes decreases rapidly. It could be that Vivendi foresaw Blizzard will lose its popularity in the future.

dannyatkinson
dannyatkinson

I am not saying this just because of this article.  Trust me there is a video game crash coming big time.  I don't like it but it is definitely going to happen.  I think some industry analysts can see it coming too and are going to jump ship asap.

sircyrus
sircyrus

I guess Vivendi isn't thrilled about the Pandaran expansion either.

lj4dog
lj4dog

So what everyone is talking about COD & Blizzard games. But what happens to publishing deal with Bungie? 

Choad-Warrior
Choad-Warrior

I don't have 8 billion, but I do have 8 dollars. 

 

So you give me the company, and I won't allow any more Activision milking. Deal? Deal. 

lj4dog
lj4dog

I wounder if Blizzard would just buy themselves out and become independent again. Its not like they don't have the money.

kanonathena
kanonathena

might be because COD's popularity will decline soon, blizzard hasn't shown much creativity with starcract 2 and diablo 3 lately.

Rogun360
Rogun360

I really hope Microsoft buys them.

PerfectZedor
PerfectZedor

Kill Warcraft? Give 13 million people around the globe their lives back? Last of COD? Give another 6 million people thier lives back? Kill all the other life sucking games? Free millions of people. This couldn't be a nobl-'er' cause. It may grant you all heaven at the end.

 

Go for it!!!

tightwad34
tightwad34

I would buy Activision, weed out the greedy bastards, then fire them. I would do that for any company I was in a position to do so. It would only be morally right.

Link3301
Link3301

Michael Patcher is being a moron again, of course.

BryanParksSuper
BryanParksSuper

I hope this Activision gets bought cause COD needs to die.

Son_of_Bmore
Son_of_Bmore

Guess EA will be ripping us off with the CoD DLCs soon

AndCarlsen
AndCarlsen

I don't really understand why Vivendi  is selling Activision. They must really need the money, that's the only reason I can think for selling such a profitable business. People may say the shooter genre has stagnated in the last few years, and even though it might look that way,  CoD continues to sell more with every iteration. This whole thing is weird.

x-TwilighT-x
x-TwilighT-x

I hope, if it's done, it's done right. The right buyer(s) are very important. Blizzard makes some good games. (Imo) A new, 61% shareholder, could certainly change a lot of things within the two companies.