Vivendi Ponders Activision Sale

Vivendi Ponders Activision Sale

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The word on the street is that Vivendi SA is looking to unload its majority stake in Activision.

"The street," in this context, is Bloomberg, which reported today that the big topic of conversation at a meeting of senior Vivendi executives being held later this month will be the future of Activision Blizzard, the gaming behemoth that was birthed by the merger of Activision and Vivendi Games back in 2007. Vivendi Games' parent company, Vivendi SA, took a 61 percent stake in the merged company, but is now apparently considering the sale of some or all of its interest.

Activision is a money-printing machine and was Vivendi's second-fastest growing unit last year, but Vivendi needs to come up with a way to put the brakes on a slide in its share price, which has declined by 28 percent over the past year. Vivendi Chairman Jean-Rene Fourtou said a sale of Activision would "unlock value from assets" that are currently undervalued because of Vivendi's holding structure. Rumor of the possible sale caused Vivendi stock to jump 5.3 percent, but Activision fell by 6.2 percent.

There's no guarantee that Activision will be put on the block; a Vivendi rep said the meeting, which has been a regular event since 2005, is "a forum of exchange and discussion, not for quick-fix decisions or solutions," and that nothing about the future of the company has been decided. Vivendi is also reportedly considering a more radical overhaul that would see the company split into separate media and telecommunications and content-distribution units, although that option is even less likely to be pursued.

Source: Bloomberg

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Imagine EA buying Activision/Blizzard? It would be like puking on a pile of shit.

Personally, I wouldn't want another generic entertainment-media-parent-company to buy them. Someone else should.

Like Taco Bell.

Tohuvabohu:
Imagine EA buying Activision/Blizzard? It would be like puking on a pile of shit.

Personally, I wouldn't want another generic entertainment-media-parent-company to buy them. Someone else should.

Like Taco Bell.

What would happen if valve buys Activision?

Anyone got $9 billion handy?

Maybe Take-Two Interactive? They don't seem to be running Rockstar into the ground or destroying their games' personality.

Akisa:

Tohuvabohu:
Imagine EA buying Activision/Blizzard? It would be like puking on a pile of shit.

Personally, I wouldn't want another generic entertainment-media-parent-company to buy them. Someone else should.

Like Taco Bell.

What would happen if valve buys Activision?

Beautiful things. But I don't think they're big enough.

DVS BSTrD:
Maybe Take-Two Interactive? They don't seem to be running Rockstar into the ground or destroying their games' personality.

Akisa:

Tohuvabohu:
Imagine EA buying Activision/Blizzard? It would be like puking on a pile of shit.

Personally, I wouldn't want another generic entertainment-media-parent-company to buy them. Someone else should.

Like Taco Bell.

What would happen if valve buys Activision?

Beautiful things. But I don't think they're big enough.

They may not be big enough, but I bet they are big enough to get a loan for it. That would be awesome, TBH.

OT: It honestly doesn't make sense. From Vivendi's perspective, even if the asset is undervalued, unloading it wouldn't be a good idea in the long term. They will get a one time massive money influx, but they would lose one of the best long term producers in the industry. Of course, if the were going to sell of 10% of their shares, it might be a great idea. They would still hold the majority of the shares in the company, and get a less massive, but still massive influx of money. Not that I think they need it. But who doesn't love money.

Baresark:
OT: It honestly doesn't make sense. From Vivendi's perspective, even if the asset is undervalued, unloading it wouldn't be a good idea in the long term. They will get a one time massive money influx, but they would lose one of the best long term producers in the industry.

The short term is all the shareholders care about, though. Sell moneymaker for quick gain, share price spikes, shareholders who pushed for the decision sell before the slide restarts/accelerates, everyone (who matters) wins!

Failure of a company? Loss of jobs? These are externalities, costs borne by people who weren't part of the decision.

Formica Archonis:

Baresark:
OT: It honestly doesn't make sense. From Vivendi's perspective, even if the asset is undervalued, unloading it wouldn't be a good idea in the long term. They will get a one time massive money influx, but they would lose one of the best long term producers in the industry.

The short term is all the shareholders care about, though. Sell moneymaker for quick gain, share price spikes, shareholders who pushed for the decision sell before the slide restarts/accelerates, everyone (who matters) wins!

Failure of a company? Loss of jobs? These are externalities, costs borne by people who weren't part of the decision.

You are of course, completely correct on this. This is the exact reason why the stock market is far too volatile for long term investment. 10 years ago, it was consider great for long term investment. Now everyone jumps in and jumps out, and it's kind of disgusting.

Activision used to buy out developers and IPs and milk them till there was nothing left, always looking out for their short term investment.

Now that ActivisionBlizzard's value has peaked (WoW subscriptions going down, CoD on the path of Guitar Hero), they themselves are being sold for a spike of cash influx in the short term.

Ah, the irony.

So long as Blizzard is fine, I don't care. Blizzard is hardly on the way down, D3 was the fastest selling PC game on record, beating out another Blizzard title if I recall correctly. They also, have the other two SCII games, which will sell like hotcakes, and Project Titan, which will likely sell like crazy, but they are keeping a lid on how much has gotten out so I don't actually know.

Tohuvabohu:
Imagine EA buying Activision/Blizzard? It would be like puking on a pile of shit.

Personally, I wouldn't want another generic entertainment-media-parent-company to buy them. Someone else should.

Like Taco Bell.

8th June 2012 market cap for public game publishers

Activison = $13.1 billion (61% = $8 billion approx)

EA = $4.27 billion (cash as of 31st march 2012 $1.3 billion)

Take-Two Interactive = $970 million (cash as of 31st march 2012 $420 million)

THQ = $46.5 million

UBisoft = $658 million (cash as of 31st march 2012 $176 million)

So for the cost of 61% of Activision you could buy Take-two, EA, Ubisoft and THQ and have lots of change.

Who ever buys the 61% of Activision it won't be a video game company unless Microsoft or Apple get involved.

Kumagawa Misogi:
Anyone got $9 billion handy?

Apple does.
And it's terrifying that it's Apple who first comes to my mind.

EDIT: Yeah, I saw your last post just after this.
But I could seriously see Apple or some other media giant picking that up.

Blizzard alone is worth the investment; they print money more consistently than any studio I can think of.

I almost don't know what to say about this, that's how completely indifferent I am to the idea of ActiBlizz being sold off. I guess this sort of a change-up could mean dear ol' Bobby will no longer be the CEO? Nah, who am I kidding. Complete indifference here.

What else does Vivendi even do? I always thought they were just a video game company.

 

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