Vivendi sells of its remaining shares in Activision-Blizzard

2 min read


For a long time, French mega corporation Vivendi owned a controlling-stake of the merged Activision-Blizzard – much to the chagrin of Bobby Kotick and co.

If you’ll recall, Bobby Kotick and a group of investors raised enough cash to buy that controlling stake, tired as they were of Vivendi meddling in Activision’s fiscal affairs.

“We should emerge even stronger-an independent company with a best-in-class franchise portfolio and the focus and flexibility to drive long-term shareholder value and expand our leadership position as one of the world’s most important entertainment companies,” Kotick said at the time. “The transactions announced today will allow us to take advantage of attractive financing markets while still retaining more than $3 billion cash on hand to preserve financial stability.”

Vivendi still owned a large enough stake though, with nearly 42 million shares in the company. That changed last week, as Vivendi sold off its remaining share in Activision-Blizzard.

“Vivendi today announced that it unwound the hedge on its remaining 41.5 million Activision Blizzard shares (representing 5.7% of the video game publisher’s common shares) and sold its entire position to a financial institution for net proceeds of US$1.1 billion (approximately €1 billion). The unwinding of this hedge allows Vivendi to recover a cash deposit of US$0.4 billion.”

There’s no word on who exactly that financial institution is, but the deal’s netted Vivendi a fair chunk of cash.

Vivendi isn’t out of the game business yet though, and have been plugging their cash in to Ubisoft and Gameloft shares, something Ubi-bosses aren’t exactly thrilled about. This cash injection could even be used to buy more of them, and take Vivendi closer to having a controlling stake in Ubisoft.

Last Updated: January 18, 2016

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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