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BUSINESS
October 15, 2009 | Meg James
Vivendi is being un peu mysterieuse . The board of the French media and telecommunications company met in Paris on Wednesday, but the company refused to say whether it had voted to shed its 20% stake in NBC Universal -- or whether the subject was even discussed. Vivendi has time to decide. On Nov. 15, a three-week window opens for Vivendi to notify its partner, General Electric Co., whether it will exercise an option to sell its interest in NBC Universal. That window reopens each year.
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ENTERTAINMENT
October 11, 2013 | By Ryan Faughnder
Activision Blizzard and a group of investors have completed their $8.2-billion buyback of most of Vivendi's majority stake in the company. This comes just one day after the Delaware Supreme Court reversed an earlier judicial decision that halted the transaction.  Activision, the world's biggest video game publisher, acquired 429 million shares from Vivendi for about $5.83 billion in cash, or $13.60 a share. Activision Chief Executive Bobby Kotick, Co-Chairman Brian Kelly and their investment vehicle bought about 172 million shares from Vivendi at a cost of $2.34 billion.  That leaves Paris-based Vivendi, which has been looking to shed assets, in possession of 12% of Activision, the firm behind the popular "Call of Duty" franchise.
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ENTERTAINMENT
June 28, 2012 | By Meg James
Jean-Bernard Lévy, the chairman and chief executive of the French telecommunications company Vivendi, stepped down Thursday following a disagreement with the company's board. The company, in a statement, described the tension as "a divergence of views on the strategic development of the group. " News reports and financial analysts suggest that the board has been embroiled in a debate about whether to carve off assets or break up the company, which consists of European pay-television operations, including France's popular Canal+, Activision Blizzard video game company, Universal Music Group, and phone and Internet services.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 10, 2013 | By Ryan Faughnder
The Delaware Supreme Court has overturned a ruling that halted video game publisher Activision Blizzard and a group of investors from buying most of Vivendi's majority stake in the company. The unanimous Thursday decision clears the way for Santa Monica-based Activision -- the company behind the "Call of Duty" franchise -- and the investor group to close the $8.2-billion deal that will leave Paris-based Vivendi with a 12% stake in the company.   This reverses last month's decision by the Delaware Chancery Court that preliminarily enjoined the transaction after Douglas Hayes, an Activision shareholder, sued the company, Vivendi and the investor group. In the suit, Hayes contended the deal should have been put to Activision's shareholders for a majority vote.  PHOTOS: Hollywood Backlot moments In an order, the Delaware high court's chief justice Myron T. Steele said Thursday the transaction does not require the approval of non-Vivendi shareholders.  Shares of Activision rose nearly 5% to $17.05.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 7, 2012 | By Alex Pham
Vivendi is considering an option to split its entertainment properties from its troubled telecommunications business, according to an executive who had been briefed on the matter. Under the proposed plan, Vivendi would separate its subsidiaries video games publisher Activision Blizzard Inc., pay TV company Canal+Group and Universal Music Group from its telecommunications companies, including French mobile company SFR, Maroc Telecom Group in Morocco and GVT in Brazil. Should Vivendi choose to break up, the two resulting companies would be run separately, said the executive, who did not want to disclose his name because the briefing was confidential.
BUSINESS
October 12, 2009 | Meg James and Ben Fritz
It may own a mere 20% of NBC Universal, but Vivendi is calling the shots when it comes to whether the fabled movie studio and television company will end up in the hands of cable company Comcast Corp. or some other buyer. That's because every year in November, Vivendi can opt to sell its stake. There's also a little-known clause in the contract between Vivendi and General Electric Co., which owns 80% of NBC Universal, that gives the French media conglomerate veto power on any change in control.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 25, 2012 | By Meg James
The French media company Vivendi has vowed to appeal the verdict of a federal jury that determined it must pay the American media conglomerate Liberty Media about $950 million in a dispute that dates back to Vivendi's 2002 financial collapse. Liberty Media contended that Vivendi, under its former chief Jean-Marie Messier, fraudulently concealed the dire nature of the company's finances and liquidity from Liberty Media and other investors. Vivendi agreed in December 2001, amid much fanfare, to buy the lucrative USA cable network, the Syfy channel and USA's robust television production studio, assets then managed by Barry Diller, in a stock and cash deal estimated at $10 billion.
BUSINESS
December 1, 2009 | By Meg James
Media colossus NBC Universal is a giant step closer to being sold to the nation's largest cable company in a proposed $29-billion deal that could reshape the entertainment industry and lead to changes in how consumers get their movies and TV shows. The last hurdle in Philadelphia-based Comcast Corp.'s bid to become one of the country's most powerful entertainment companies was overcome when General Electric Co. -- which has owned NBC for nearly a quarter-century -- reached an exit strategy with its French partner Vivendi.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 11, 2013 | By Ryan Faughnder
Activision Blizzard and a group of investors have completed their $8.2-billion buyback of most of Vivendi's majority stake in the company. This comes just one day after the Delaware Supreme Court reversed an earlier judicial decision that halted the transaction.  Activision, the world's biggest video game publisher, acquired 429 million shares from Vivendi for about $5.83 billion in cash, or $13.60 a share. Activision Chief Executive Bobby Kotick, Co-Chairman Brian Kelly and their investment vehicle bought about 172 million shares from Vivendi at a cost of $2.34 billion.  That leaves Paris-based Vivendi, which has been looking to shed assets, in possession of 12% of Activision, the firm behind the popular "Call of Duty" franchise.
BUSINESS
July 11, 2008 | From Times Wire Services
Vivendi completed the merger of its video game unit with Activision Inc. Paris-based Vivendi owns 54% of outstanding stock in the combined company, Santa Monica-based Activision Blizzard Inc., and will begin a tender offer to buy an additional $4 billion in shares, the companies said.
BUSINESS
October 6, 2013 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Activision Blizzard Inc. is one of the world's largest publishers of video games. The Santa Monica company produces games that are used on PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360, personal computers, mobile phones and other hand-held devices. Two of its most popular games are the war-themed "Call of Duty," and "World of Warcraft," a role-playing game set in a fantasy world. It's a big business. In 2012, the company released "Call of Duty: Black Ops II," which set video game sales records with more than $1 billion of retail sales within 15 days of its launch, the company said.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 18, 2013 | By Ryan Faughnder
A U.S. court has handed down a preliminary decision to temporarily halt video game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc. and a group of investors from buying back most of Vivendi SA's stake in the company. The video game firm behind the "Call of Duty" franchise said on Wednesday that the Delaware Chancery Court has preliminarily enjoined the  $8.2-billion deal after Douglas Hayes, an Activision shareholder, sued the company, Vivendi and the investor group earlier this month.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 27, 2013 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
Activision Blizzard Inc. and a group of investors led by its top executives are buying most of Vivendi's stake in the world's largest video game publisher in an $8.2-billion transaction. The deal would free the Santa Monica company from the financial woes of its French corporate parent and enable it to focus on the fast-evolving gaming industry. Activision said late Thursday that it would acquire 429 million shares from the Paris conglomerate for about $5.83 billion in cash, or $13.60 a share.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 25, 2013 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
Activision Blizzard, the world's largest video game publisher, will separate from its French media parent to become an independent, publicly traded company.  The company's managers orchestrated a complex transaction to buy back shares from French parent Vivendi, and take back control of the company -- while leaving the majority of Activision Blizzard held by the public. In a deal announced late Thursday, Activision Blizard will buy back approximately 429 million shares from Vivendi for roughly $5.83 billion, or $13.60 a share.  PHOTOS: 2012 highest-paid media executives At the same time, ASAC II -- an investment group created by Activision Blizzard Chief Executive Bobby Kotick and Co-Chairman Brian Kelly, to which they contributed a combined $100 million -- will purchase about 172 million Activision shares from Vivendi for about $2.34 billion in cash.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 12, 2012 | By Alex Pham
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 28, 2012 | By Alex Pham
Activision Blizzard on Thursday confirmed it is seeking to sell or shut down Radical Entertainment, the game studio that created the "Prototype" action-adventure series of games. The Santa Monica game company in a statement said the decision stemmed from the failure of "Prototype" to "find a broad commercial audience. "  Activision did not say how long it will continue to pay Radical's 90 employees, or whether it will shut down the studio entirely. "We met with the team and are currently exploring various options for the future of the studio, including a potential sale of the business," Activision said.
BUSINESS
January 30, 2010 | By Richard Verrier
The rise and fall of Jean- Marie Messier's debt-ridden media empire is an old story in Hollywood, but the company's shareholders are still smarting over their losses. A jury in U.S. District Court in Manhattan offered them some consolation Friday, finding that Paris-based Vivendi misled investors about the company's financial health from 2000 to 2002. The federal jury found the company liable on all 57 counts of violating U.S. securities laws stemming from one of several class-action lawsuits brought by angry shareholders.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 27, 2013 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
Activision Blizzard Inc. and a group of investors led by its top executives are buying most of Vivendi's stake in the world's largest video game publisher in an $8.2-billion transaction. The deal would free the Santa Monica company from the financial woes of its French corporate parent and enable it to focus on the fast-evolving gaming industry. Activision said late Thursday that it would acquire 429 million shares from the Paris conglomerate for about $5.83 billion in cash, or $13.60 a share.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 28, 2012 | By Meg James
Jean-Bernard Lévy, the chairman and chief executive of the French telecommunications company Vivendi, stepped down Thursday following a disagreement with the company's board. The company, in a statement, described the tension as "a divergence of views on the strategic development of the group. " News reports and financial analysts suggest that the board has been embroiled in a debate about whether to carve off assets or break up the company, which consists of European pay-television operations, including France's popular Canal+, Activision Blizzard video game company, Universal Music Group, and phone and Internet services.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 28, 2012 | By Alex Pham
Activision Blizzard Inc., which earlier Thursday said it may shut down or sell its Radical Entertainment game studio, issued a follow-up statement later in the day saying it is laying off 90 developers at Radical,  or 86% of the staff, and is keeping a skeleton crew of 15 developers to work on Activision's other games. The Santa Monica company insisted that it will not be selling Radical, which created the "Prototype" series of games. Activision cited poor sales of "Prototype 2" as the reason for downsizing the studio.
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