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Vivendi: Selling Activision a 'possibility'

July 12, 2012|By Alex Pham
  • Jean-Rene Fourtou, Vivendi's chairman, at the Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley, Idaho.
Jean-Rene Fourtou, Vivendi's chairman, at the Allen & Co. conference… (Andrew Gombert )

Vivendi Chairman Jean Rene-Fourtou acknowledged Thursday that the French company is considering a sale of its stake in game companyActivision Blizzard Inc.

Fourtou told a Bloomberg reporter at the Allen & Co. media and technology conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, that selling its majority share in Santa Monica-based Activision, valued at more than $8 billion, was a "possibility."

“We’re always looking at opportunities for all of our businesses," Fourtou said.

Vivendi has said it is examining various options for reorganizing the company, whose business falls into roughly two categories — entertainment and telecommunications.

Aside from Activision, Vivendi also owns Universal Music Group and French pay-television company Canal+Group. The properties form the core of Vivendi's entertainment assets. Vivendi purchased a 52% stake in Activision in 2008 in a deal valued at close to $10 billion.

Vivendi also owns a number of technology companies, including SFR in France, Maroc Telecom in Morocco and GVT in Brazil.

The company has been under pressure by shareholders to revive its stock price, which sank to a nine-year low in April. As a result, Vivendi is exploring a broad range of options — from splitting its entertainment assets from the financially troubled phone business into two independent companies, to selling off pieces of its empire, including Activision.

Vivendi is in the early stages and has not singled out a preferred path, according to company executives who did not want to be named because the process was ongoing.


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