CVG sources: €8bn Activision Blizzard sale 'still under consideration'

Microsoft buyout talks 'fell through'; Sony 'not keen'

Paris based media conglomerate Vivendi is still pursuing options for a sale of its €8 billion majority stake in Activision Blizzard, CVG reveals today.


Philippe Capron, Vivendi finance director, last week claimed that the entertainment empire had ruled out a "straight break-up" between its media and telecoms operations. This claim, coupled with Vivendi's known difficulties in selling off the Activision Blizzard business, suggested that options were off the table.

Yet a credible source connected to the matter said that despite the recent assurances by Vivendi, a sale of Activision Blizzard "absolutely remains under consideration".

Vivendi is exploring its options in a bid to pay off its €14bn debts and counter the long-term decline of its share value, which has halved since 2007.

The sale of Activision Blizzard is viewed by Vivendi as an expedient solution, but the price tag for the publisher appears to be a stumbling block.

CVG understands that Microsoft held talks with Vivendi but negotiations had not advanced. Sony, meanwhile, is believed to have immediately ruled out acquiring the Call of Duty and World of Warcraft publisher.

A spokesperson for Vivendi has declined to comment. A representative for Activision Blizzard was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.

Last Thursday, Capron (also chairman of the board of directors at Activision Blizzard) assured that Vivendi "does not have to sell anything or do anything immediately".