A couple months ago Vivendi announced that they were looking to sell their shares of Activation Blizzard as a means to pay off a €14 billion ($17.9 billion) debt they had accrued. While there has been little interest in the sale, Vivendi is said to be still seeking potential buyers who could ultimately be the controlling shareholder of the company that produces such games as ‘World of Warcraft,’ ‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, ’Guitar Hero,’ ‘Spider-Man’ and ‘Starcraft.’
Vivendi Chairman, Jean-Rene Fourtou, has been under pressure from the company’s investors to restructure the company and boost their stock price. Their recent sale of its stake in NBC Universal and General Electric as just one of the many moves they have taken to do just that. But the sale of Activision Blizzard offers one of the quickest paths out of their debt but it seems no one is interested in purchasing the shares.
Vivendi owns 61% of Activision Blizzard making their holding worth a whopping $8.1 billion. Originally they were asking for a 25% premium on their shares but the lack of interest in the market eventually forced them to reduce the premiums down to 12%. This still didn’t seem attract any deals as tech giants such as Microsoft, Tencent, Disney and Sony are rumored to have passed on the deal.
As early as last month, reports even suggested that maybe Activision could possibly partner with investors and buy itself back from Vivendi but Activision’s CEO Bobby Kotick has only said on the subject, “While we’re unable to comment on Vivendi’s behalf, we continue to remain focused on strong execution, the delivery of great games and the provision of superior shareholder returns as we have for over 20 years. Our strategy has served us very well in the past and will position us very well for the future.”
So now that Vivendi is still without a buyer to bail them out, this leaves gaming insiders to wonder if the company will actually do as they had previously suggested and sell their shares on the open market.
Currently Vivendi and Activision have declined to comment but we’ll keep you updated as more information becomes available.