Word from the US is that Vivendi wants to sell its majority 61% stake in Activision Blizzard – worth $8.1bn.
According to Bloomberg, someone close to the matter says Vivendi wants to sell on its ownership of the powerful US games publisher, responsible of course for Call of Duty, as pressure mounts to reduce debt liabilities.
This week Vivendi CEO Jean-Bernard Levy had already been ousted after resisting a restructure – and now Chairman Jean-Rene Fourtou is apparently being told by investors to shape up the giant firm.
Vivendi is a telecommunications and media powerhouse, with interests in music, games, TV plus mobile and landline telecoms.
Rumours about a sell-off have been swirling all year.
It bought Activision and merged it with World of Warcraft creator Blizzard – creating Activision-Blizzard – in 2006. The publisher acts independently, but Vivendi is the majority shareholder, having retained the 61 per cent.
But Bloomberg also reveals that, if no buyer emerges to make an offer for the valuable but expensive Activision, Vivendi may be forced to sell part or all of its shares in the publisher on the open market.