Posted Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 08:30 AM PST by Dick Ward
They're still majority shareholders in the game company, but analysts are questioning the move.
Vivendi, the French media conglomerate that owns StudioCanal, Interscope Records and a glut of other music, television and movie businesses has sold off a significant chunk of their share in Activision Blizzard. They've dropped from holding 63 percent of the stock to 60.
That may not sounds like a big difference, but that three percent equates to more than $400 million. Vivendi says it's nothing major though. " This is a tactical disposal with regards to our overall capital structure, and we remain committed to Activision and to being the main shareholder."
Talk around the financial circles is that the sale of the stock was to help pay for a $1.9 billion deal to buy EMI. Analysts don't get why though. As Claudio Aspesi of Bernstein Research puts it, "The wisdom of selling about three percent in a business that is one of the key bastions of growth for the group to aid a transformational acquisition in a challenged business, such as recorded music, seems questionable."
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