Sunday, December 2, 2007

Activision & Vivendi merge to become Activision Blizzard

From Games Industry Biz: Activision Blizzard deal valued at $18.9 billion

Activision and Vivendi Games are to merge, becoming the world's largest independent videogame publisher, in a deal valued at USD 18.9 billion

The new company, Activision Blizzard, now boasts a portfolio bursting with some of the top-selling videogame franchises including Blizzard's World of Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo, Vivendi's Crash Bandicoot and Spyro and Activision's Guitar Hero, Call of Duty and the Tony Hawk series.

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"This alliance is a major strategic step for Vivendi and is another illustration of our drive to extend our presence in the entertainment sector," commented Jean Bernard Levy, CEO of Vivendi.

"The combined strength of the existing management teams at both companies will set the stage for further profitable growth of Activision Blizzard.

"We look forward to being an active and supportive majority stockholder in a company that is poised to lead the worldwide interactive entertainment industry in the years ahead," he said.

Shares of Vivendi Games will be converted into 295.3 million new shares of Activision, which values Vivendi Games at USD 8.1 billion. Vivendi will also purchase 62.9 million newly issued shares in Activision for USD 1.7 billion in cash.

"By joining forces with Vivendi Games, we will become the immediate leader in the highly profitable online games business and gain a large footprint in the rapidly growing Asian markets, including China and Korea, while maintaining our leading operating performance across North America and Europe," he added.

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Activision also said that it will now have access to Universal Music Group, the world's largest music company, "which will benefit Guitar Hero and further extend our sizeable leadership position in music-based games."

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