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.
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.
Have valve buy it, combine battle.net with the steam juggernaut. Consoles watch out, the PC return cometh!!!!!!!!!!
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
"...after CEO ousted...". For a second, I thought they meant Kotick was gone. What a great second it was.
I had a dream... Blizzard became an independent company and Activision ceased to exist. It was beatiful.
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?
@j_cain341 One of the game I've played and drove me crazy is Infinity Blade, sadly it makes Apple the DOMINANT market in the smartphones, although Asia remain impenetrable with Samsung and Sony. And Apple, to be frank has some of the essence of EA and Activision, and good at suing companies for pattern infringement, thank god they did not dominate the PC market or we are going to be fully controlled by APPLE!
@thenephariouson i think the word you're looking for is 'liquidate' lol. still, as far as activision is concerned i totally agree. As for blizzard... i'm getting there >.<
If Activision makes the rest of the stock public, expect the prices to fall faster than Facebook stocks did. Do not buy!!!!!
@swamptick I doubt it. Microsoft likes to throw money out to 3rd parties for exclusive content or exclusive release schedules for DLC on popular games. They have found success if feeding off of 3rd party games. Halo is a rare case for Microsoft who was unable to retain the actual developers (Bungie) who created that franchise.
Microsoft makes a really bad 1st part publisher. They may consider giving it a go with CoD and WoW publishing rights. But they seem comfortable without self-publishing.
@Hvac0120 If Microsoft did steal this and retained to the rights of the CoD franchise, think of all the consoles it will sell next gen. I don't like it but from a certain viewpoint its a good move. But I'm no financial analyst, so I could be way off target.
@vault-boy I agree with you and if they were to do that would be a pretty to see. Yeah what you said.
wow big picture vivendi bought activision for 18 bill and are selling it & blizzard for 8 bill talk about a loss of money
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.
@nyran125 My god what a moron. Call of Duty can never be a good game, just leave it.
@TonnFool23 The earlier Call of Duty games on the PC were actually good games, I'd say all the way to Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare 1. After MW1, things fell apart.
@vault-boy COD2-Big Red One on the PS2 is actually one of my top COD favorite after COD MW. The worst COD I've played was Modern Warfare 3 and Black Ops
@vault-boy cod4>cod2>mw2=mw3> calculator games > anything treyarch has put out.
@BestJinjo Call of Duty Finest Hour, 2 and 3 were actually pretty mediocre games. Call of Duty 1 and Call of Duty 4 were the only truly fantastic games. And CoD 4 was fantastic, there is no denying it. Anyhow, Valve probably wouldn't do very well with CoD but there are other publishers who could. Gearbox would be pretty awesome with it I think.
@TonnFool23 I would say you're the moron. CoD is a fantastic game that's so good its changed the FPS market and is what all strive to dethrone. Don't get me wrong, its not my favorite nor do I play it a lot, but saying that its not a good game is plain stupid! Its like saying WoW isn't a good game even though its the most successful MMO out there (no I don't like or play WoW). But think before you speak (or type in this case).
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
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.
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.
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.
@zinoalex There are plenty of other companies making first person shooters and MMORPGs. Blizzard hasn't made anything niche or hardcore for a long time.
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
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.
@Master_Vexov umm SC2 is amazing and it still going strong. Blizzard hasnt changed but they shouldnt be merged with Activision
@Nexrad Seriously, you think they haven't changed? You must have been introduced to the company when they first made WoW. They are a vastly different company now than they were in the 90's. Blame it on Activision or Vivendi if you like, but they are no better than EA at this point.
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
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?
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.
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.
@speed45823 Because EA is an independent corporation, not owned by a mother company like Vivendi or Take Two.
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.
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
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....
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