A few reports (like
) have popped up recently talking about the inner financial workings
between Activision Blizzard and corporate parent Vivendi (thanks Joao).
attempts to pull back the curtain to explain to us regular
munchkins what magic the financial wizards are performing, explaining that this
will saddle the publisher with some of Vivendi's gigantic debt. Here's how this
Activision Blizzard is a very successful company, and has just
over $4 Billion in its accounts, much of it kept in off-shore accounts. The
gaming company has done well for itself by focusing on big titles and not
spreading itself out to mobile and free-to-play games. They would need to go
into debt in order to meet the special dividend that will be put forth by
Vivendi because of US taxes that will come into play when the money changes
hands. Current estimates to the amount of debt that A/B will be forced to take
on sits at about $1.5 Billion.
Vivendi has accrued over $17 Billion in debt, which was the result of poor
business strategies involving telecoms. The original agreement with Activision
Blizzard stated that the parent company could not require special dividends from
A/B, but that deal expired earlier this month. Vivendi is wasting no time taking
everything it can from the game company.
Although Activision CEO Bobby Kotick seems interested in buying the company back
from Vivendi, that hasn’t happened. Vivendi has already tried selling off the
company, but it didn’t seem there was an interested party who had the cash to
buy the world’s largest game publisher. There doesn’t seem to be any reason why
the special dividend put forth by the parent company won’t go through.