Activision Blizzard to Buy Out Parent Company Vivendi
Activision Blizzard, the Santa Monica based creators of Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, have announced progress in their plans to split off from Vivendi, their French parent company. The new independence is expected to provide both companies with additional opportunities to pursue lucrative side projects.
Activision Blizzard intends to buy 8.2 million dollars worth of their own stock from majority shareholder Vivendi, reducing the French company's stocks to 12% from the previous 61%. This would make the company publicly owned and give them a new independence.
Activision Blizzard is the world's most profitable game developing company, with World of Warcraft, the most popular MMORPG ever made, and Call of Duty, the FPS with highly anticipated annual releases. Call of Duty: Black Ops II held the record for best game sales, bringing in $1 billion in revenue in its first two weeks. This record was recently broken by Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto V. Analysts suspect that Activision Blizzard will face challenges from WoW's declining subscriber base as well as Call of Duty competitor Battlefield's increasing sale numbers, however stocks remain strong.
Analysts suspect that the move will be beneficial, stating "We believe Activision is now afforded more freedom to pursue acquisitions or other potential projects that may have previously been off of the table."
Some investors aren't crazy about the idea, even going far enough to obtain an injunction preventing the sale from finalizing without shareholder approval. An appeal is currently underway to overturn this ruling, however, if failed would force Activision Blizzard to hold a shareholder vote to authorize sale.
Those striving for the split are still confident, saying "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."