Activision Blizzard has been leading the way in gaming for several years. BlizzardÂs flagship World of Warcraft MMORPG has managed to maintain a healthy subscription base numbering in the millions for several years, and ActivisionÂs 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 BlizzardÂs 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 ActivisionÂs $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.
IÂm no economist, but at that amount, itÂs hard to see how this possible move could not affect the gaming side of Activision in some way. Stay tuned and weÂll update you when we have more.