Vivendi is putting its 61 percent stake in Activision Blizzard Inc. up for sale, reports suggest. Valued in the $8 billion region, the Paris-based company is allegedly seeking any and all buyers, and may even consider selling a partial holding on the open market, according to Bloomberg’s unnamed source. Got a few extra million or billion? Vivendi wants to talk to you.
The potential sale apparently stems from Vivendi’s poor stock price, which is currently at a nine-year low. Investors aren’t happy. And when investors aren’t happy, changes need to be made. Vivendi has yet to comment on the rumor. Likewise with Activision.
“The problem is there are no readily apparent buyers for Activision,” said video gaming research analyst Michael Pachter. “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.”
Responsible for such products as the Call of Duty series and Tony Hawk series, Activision Blizzard Inc. is currently the largest U.S. video-game publisher. However, the company’s shares have declined almost 3 percent this year because of the burgeoning mobile industry — sales of packaged console games fell 6 percent as a whole last year, according to NPD Group — along with the current generation of consoles winding down in their life cycles.