Bloomberg News

Vivendi Said to Seek $431 Million in Activision Share Sale

November 25, 2011

(Updates with share price in last paragraph.)

Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Vivendi SA is seeking as much as $431 million in a sale of shares of Activision Blizzard Inc., the world’s largest video-game publisher, said two people with knowledge of the transaction.

Vivendi is offering 35 million shares for $12.20 to $12.30 each, according to one of the people, who declined to be identified as the information is private. That’s a discount of as much as 4.7 percent to yesterday’s closing price. Deutsche Bank AG is managing the stock sale.

Vivendi’s Universal Music Group agreed three days ago to buy EMI Group’s record labels, home to artists such as Katy Perry and Coldplay, for 1.2 billion pounds ($1.9 billion), from Citigroup Inc. The French company plans to sell about 500 million euros ($677 million) in assets from Universal, the world’s largest music company, to help finance the acquisition.

Vivendi’s Canal Plus pay-television unit also agreed this month to buy a minority stake in the owner of Poland’s TVN SA, that country’s largest television network.

An official at Paris-based Vivendi declined to comment on the Activision sale, while a call to Activision’s office outside of regular business hours wasn’t immediately returned.

Activision, based in Santa Monica, California, is the publisher of games including the “Guitar Hero” and “Call of Duty” franchises. The shares had gained 23 percent through yesterday since reaching their 2010 low on Aug. 10. They sank 4.9 percent to $12.17 at 8:49 a.m. New York time in pre-market trading.

--Editors: Julie Alnwick, Cecile Daurat

To contact the reporters on this story: Zijing Wu in London at; Matthew Campbell in Paris at; Alexis Xydias in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jacqueline Simmons at

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