Vivendi sells all of its shares of Activision Blizzard for $1.1 billion

    
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Breaking up is always hard to do — unless, of course, there’s a whole ton of money in the mix to make you feel better about the whole thing.

Vivendi has jumped out of doing business with Activision Blizzard, selling its 41,500,000 remaining shares in the publisher to an undisclosed financial institution for a cool $1.1 billion. Vivendi also recouped a $400M cash deposit as part of the deal. According to Vivendi, “the decision to implement these transactions was taken in view of the evolution of the Activision Blizzard stock price.”

Activision Blizzard merged with Vivendi in 2007 as part of a $18.9B deal. In 2014, Vivendi sold approximately the same amount of stock for only $866M.

This past week’s sale represented 5.7% of Activision Blizzard’s shares.

Source: Vivendi, VG247, Gamasutra. Thanks to Dug from the Earth for the tip!
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SallyBowls1
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SallyBowls1

ManastuUtakata SallyBowls1 Damonvile any google would easily find it. Livefrye is dumb about too many links, especially more than one per post. In fact, it ate 3 posts.
1) go to finance at yahoo or others, enter ATVI ticker symbol and on the left click on ownership. Public US companies are required by law to report insiders and owners of more than 5%.  Anyway, there it is.  It will probably change in 3 weeks after being updated with Q4 numbers.
2) As to who ASAC is, the limited partnership that owns the 24%, any google of the articles around the time of the original sale should mention it.  For example, from businesswire in July 25, 2013 (I had the text here but maybe that was what livefyre objected to. the text is in a response below. Or just go to the BW site for the article.

BigJohnny1982
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BigJohnny1982

Sigh…. I find it weird when sites like these post on stocks, shares and company movements when they have no idea why they are doing it or what it means. I guess this stems from the sites origins (being related to Engadget). Engadget always posted stuff like this and it led to speculation amongst people that had no idea why they were reading about it. They had tons of complaints as a result.

SallyBowls1
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SallyBowls1

ManastuUtakata SallyBowls1 Damonvile any google would easily find it. Livefrye is dumb about too many links, especially more than one per post. In fact, it just ate my previous comment.

1) go to finance dot yahoo.com, enter ATVI ticker symbol and on the left click on ownership. Public US companies are required by law to report insiders and owners of more than 5%.  Anyway, there it is.  It will probably change in 3 weeks after being updated with Q4 numbers.

2) As to who ASAC is, the limited partnership that owns the 24%, any google of the articles around the time of the original sale should mention it.  For example, from businesswire in July 25, 2013 (I had the text here but maybe that was what livefyre objected to. the text is in a response below. Or just go to the BW site for the article.

SallyBowls1
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SallyBowls1

An Overabundance of Cats  While googling for http://www.livefyre.com/profile/71893990/ I found the text from 2013 about the LP that is the largest shareholder of ATVI.

“ASAC II LP—the investor group which, in addition to Kotick and Kelly, includes Davis Advisors, Leonard Green & Partners, L.P., Tencent, as well as one of the largest global institutional investors—will own a stake of approximately 24.9%.”

So even back in 2013 they were using euphemisms like “largest global institutional investors” instead of names.  I wonder if this “undisclosed financial institution” is the same “largest global institutional investors”?

ATVI has had a great two years so it has not hurt them so far.

SallyBowls1
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SallyBowls1

ManastuUtakata SallyBowls1 Damonvile any google would easily find it. Livefrye is dumb about too many links, especially more than one per post.

1) go to finance dot yahoo.com, enter ATVI ticker symbol and on the left click on ownership. Public US companies are required by law to report insiders and owners of more than 5%.  Anyway, there it is.  It will probably change in 3 weeks after being updated with Q4 numbers.

2) As to who ASAC is, the limited partnership that owns the 24%, any google of the articles around the time of the original sale should mention it.  Fro example, from businesswire in July 25, 2013 (google of the text below should get you there.)

“ASAC II LP, an investment vehicle led by Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick and Co-Chairman Brian Kelly, to which they have personally committed $100 million combined, separately will purchase approximately 172 million Company shares from Vivendi for approximately $2.34 billion in cash, or $13.60 per share. 
Following the completion of the transaction, Activision Blizzard will be an independent company with the majority of its shares owned by the public. The Company will be led by Bobby Kotick as Chief Executive Officer and Brian Kelly as Chairman. Vivendi will no longer be the majority shareholder, but will retain a stake of 83 million shares or approximately 12%. ASAC II LP—the investor group which, in addition to Kotick and Kelly, includes Davis Advisors, Leonard Green & Partners, L.P., Tencent, as well as one of the largest global institutional investors—will own a stake of approximately 24.9%.”

We don’t know how much of ASAC BK owns, but if he put up $50M of a limited partnership worth 2.34B, it is probably not much more than 2% of ASAC but who knows.

Karl_Hungus
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Karl_Hungus

amkosh Karl_Hungus 
They’ve been losing more money than they’ve been making in recent years which is why they’ve opted to get rid of stocks like Acti-Blizz. If they didn’t need to, they wouldn’t because Acti-Blizz is a blue chip business with no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

ManastuUtakata
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ManastuUtakata

SallyBowls1 ManastuUtakata Damonvile 
At this point of time, I should really start asking for citations. Yes, I know I am real pain in the ass for asking that, but I am now not sure it’s 24% originally posted or 4.5% as you claim. This really helps to resolve threads that are mislead.
That said, thanks for explaining at least how that works you two. :)

SallyBowls1
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SallyBowls1

ManastuUtakata Damonvile  That 24% is not correct.

BK owns 4.5M shares.  The ASAC II LP, of which BK is an investor, owns the 172M (24%) share.  Since we don’t know how big an investor BK is in the LP, we don’ really know how much he owns.

Institutional and Mutal fund owners own 70% of the shares.

Damonvile
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Damonvile

ManastuUtakata Damonvile He was kidding but that’s sort of right. At 6% of the company they might be able to fight their way into a board seat which they could then try to influence how Blizzard runs, but they’d be a long ways from making it world of everquest next. :)

SallyBowls1
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SallyBowls1

amkosh  Why do you say it is not typical?

Vivendi has been selling lots of things over the last two years – major divestitures of over $20B – far larger than this sale.  In no cases that I read of have they done incremental sales.  They sold 80% and 20% of SFR.  They sold off Brazllian telcom GVT.  They sold off African phone operator Maroc Telecom. They sold their stake in BEATS to Apple.  Selling a large block is completely typical with Vivendi’s actions recently; not incremental sales.

ATVI’s stock has been doing so well you can believe in the company and management and still think it is at a local maximum.  But I think this is far more about Vivendi’s strategy of divesting past acquisitions than about ATVI itself.

Vivendi clearly can’t lack confidence in video games since it is increasing its stake in two video game companies.  I would say this sale say nothing about ATVI except perhaps that its stock is quite high and is relatively irrelevant for ATVI.  OTOH, my guess is this might be quite bad for Ubisoft and Gameloft.