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Category Archives: #games

Activision Soars After Accord to Buy 0ut Vivendi Holding

Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI) and a group led by Chief Executive Officer Bobby Kotick agreed to buy most of Vivendi SA (VIV)’s stake in the company, the biggest U.S. video-game publisher, for $8.17 billion. The stock soared.

 The maker of “Call of Duty” and “World of Warcraft” will take on debt to purchase shares held by Paris-based Vivendi for $13.60 each, or $5.83 billion. Kotick and partners including co-Chairman Brian Kelly, Chinese game maker Tencent Holdings Ltd. (700), Davis Advisors and Leonard Green & Partners, will pay $2.34 billion, according to a statement yesterday.

The accord ends five years of control over Activision by the French media and telecommunications company, and months of uncertainty for the Santa Monica, California-based video-game company as its departing parent sought ways to reduce debt. Activision and Kotick are buying out Vivendi at a 10 percent discount to yesterday’s closing price and said the terms would lead to faster profit growth this year.

“We tried to construct a transaction that rewarded our public shareholders and this structure accomplishes that,”  Kotick said in a telephone interview. His group will own 25 percent of the company, according to the statement.

Activision soared to an almost five-year high, gaining 13 percent to $17.21 at 12:10 p.m. in New York after reaching $17.76. As of yesterday, the stock had risen 43 percent this year, giving the company a market value of $17 billion. Vivendi added 0.6 percent to 16.07 euros in Paris. Tencent climbed 3.9 percent to HK$347.40 in Hong Kong.  Read More

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Vivendi Seeks Buyers for Activision

Vivendi SA VIV.FR -1.23% is working with two investment banks to explore the sale of videogame giant Activision Blizzard Inc., ATVI -0.25% in which the French conglomerate owns a majority stake, people familiar with the matter said.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Barclays BARC.LN +0.82% PLC are helping Paris-based Vivendi assess its options around Activision Blizzard, which has a market capitalization of about $13.4 billion. Vivendi owns a 61% stake through a 2008 merger of its gaming unit, Blizzard Entertainment, with Activision.

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Attendees visiting the Activision Blizzard display at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles last month.

Vivendi is focused on finding a buyer for the Santa Monica, Calif.-based maker of popular games such as “Call of Duty” and “World of Warcraft,” and bankers have reached out to a range of suitors, including other gaming companies and private-equity firms, the people said.  Read More

‘World of Warcraft’ is going to the pandas

Game developer Blizzard will release its fourth expansion pack for “World of Warcraft” — an expansion that lets people play the massively popular online game as a race of giant humanoid pandas known as the Pandaren.
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