Activision Inc. and Vivendi announced today that they have signed a definitive agreement to combine Vivendi Games, Vivendi's interactive entertainment business, which includes Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft with Activision, creating the world’s largest pure-play online and console game publisher.
The new company, Activision Blizzard, is expected to have approximately $3.8 billion in pro forma combined calendar 2007 revenues and the highest operating margins of any major third-party video game publisher.
This is a pretty surprising announcement and one with huge numbers. Vivendi contributes Vivendi Games valued at $8.1 Billion, plus $1.7 Billion in Cash in exchange for approximately 52% stake in Activision Blizzard at Closing. The total transaction valued at $18.9 Billion.
Jean-Bernard Lévy, Chairman of the Management Board and Chief Executive Officer of Vivendi stated: “This alliance is a major strategic step for Vivendi and is another illustration of our drive to extend our presence in the entertainment sector. By combining Vivendi’s games business with Activision, we are creating a worldwide leader in a high-growth industry. We are excited about the opportunities for Activision Blizzard as a broader entertainment software platform. We believe this transaction will create significant value for Activision Blizzard and Vivendi stockholders. In Activision, we have found a partner with a highly complementary business and strong operating team. Bobby Kotick and Brian Kelly are industry pioneers, well known for creating shareholder value. 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.”
Via this press-release (pdf).
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