Activision Blizzard Shares Up After Vivendi Announces Plan to Sell Stake

Posted by at 10:15 am on July 26, 2013

BlizzardThe current 14% gain for Santa Monica-based Activision Blizzard so far in Nasdaq trading today comes hours after parent company Vivendi announced a $8.17 billion deal to sell back the majority of the video game giant to a group that includes Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick.

That ends the French company’s five-year hold on the video game business’ biggest company — among Blizzard’s titles are the uber-popular Call Of Duty and World Of Warcraft franchises — and is fueling speculation that Vivendi will continue to pare down assets and rebuild itself as a media and content company.

Proceeds from today’s deal are being used to cut Vivendi’s more than $17 billion in debt and rebuild it around Universal Music Group and pay-TV provider Canal Plus. Vivendi brass says such a split-up could include French mobile phone company SFR, which is Vivendi’s largest unit. Bloomberg reports that following the Activision Blizzard deal to make it an independent company that Vivendi’s remaining assets — UMG, Canal Plus and Brazilian broadband provider GVT — accounted for about 40% of the Paris-based conglom’s 2012 revenue.

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