According to a report by Bloomberg, Vivendi SA is considering the future of its highly profitable video game unit Activision Blizzard Inc, with one of the possible options being a sale. The most popular scenario at this point it seems involves Vivendi selling of all or part of their 61 percent stake in Activision, the maker of “Call of Duty” with a market value of about $13 billion. A sale of Activision would be an attempt by Chairman Jean-Rene Fourtou to unlock value from assets he has said are at a discount because of the holding structure at Vivendi, which also owns Universal Music Group along with several other companies. Fourtou is looking for ways to reverse a 28-percent slide in its stock price in the past 12 months.
Activision is Vivendi’s fourth-biggest business, with sales of $4.76 billion last year. Activision was also Vivendi’s second-fastest growing unit last year, after Brazilian phone operator GVT. If a sale did occur Vivendi has not yet decided what it would do with proceeds. But to keep this all in perspective, people close to the issue have said that Vivendi may ultimately decide against a sale altogether and decide to hold on to Activision.
To most gamers it would seem that Vivendi would be foolish to consider selling a company that we all know owns one of the most popular and successful gaming franchises in history. But Vivendi is a conglomerate and Activision just might not fit into their plans anymore and that happens in business. In any case, whatever happens is unlikely to have a major effect on the game’s they make so for gamers this really shouldn’t matter that much.