The owner of Activision is rumoured to be preparing a move to grab in the region of $3bn from the cash rich” publisher.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Vivendi will at a board meeting today discuss plans to extract” over $3bn from Activision, with which it merged in 2007.
It could then push for the Activision board to approve the move at its own board meeting later this week.
Vivendi currently owns a 60 per cent stake in the games publisher. This of course means that Activision would have to raise $1bn itself to fund the move – money that it doesn't currently have in the US. Repatriating the funds would likely incur a heavy tax bill with US authorities.
The site reports that some people familiar with the matter said the cash payout wasn't the preferred option of Activision Blizzard management, including chief executive Bobby Kotick, who has tried to use Activision's cash pile to buy out Vivendi”.
Other sources have apparently refuted this claim.