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Vivendi May be Looking to Sap Cash from Activision Blizzard

Posted Mon, Jul 22, 2013 by Martuk

Activision Blizzard has been leading the way in gaming for several years. Blizzard’s flagship World of Warcraft MMORPG has managed to maintain a healthy subscription base numbering in the millions for several years, and Activision’s other investments in the Call of Duty series has also paid off big time for the publisher. But Activision Blizzard also has a parent company with Vivendi, and they that parent be dipping its hand into Activision Blizzard’s proverbial cookie jar to help bring down its own debts.

Vivendi tried, and failed, to sell off their 61% stake in Activision last year. With that attempt now behind them, the mass media company is looking to possibly acquire a special dividend from Activision Blizzard to the tune of about $2-3 billion of Activision’s $4.3 billion in cash to help cut Vivendi debts. To make matters a bit worse (or expensive in this case) for Activision, a large portion of their funding is kept in off shore accounts according to Polygon, which means bringing them into the US for the dividend could subject them to a hefty tax.

A Reuters report on the original WSJ story indicates that the eleven member board, of which six are from Vivendi, could soon meet to vote on the move.

I’m no economist, but at that amount, it’s hard to see how this possible move could not affect the gaming side of Activision in some way. Stay tuned and we’ll update you when we have more.

Sources: WSJ, Reuters, Polygon


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