Activision and Vivendi join forces to create biggest games publisher
In a shock move, Vivendi Games and Activision have announced the formation of a new company, Activision Blizzard, ousting Electronic Arts as the video game industry's largest publisher - reports VideoGamer
The deal, worth a huge $18.9 billion, will see Vivendi Games contribute $1.7 billion to the company and take a 52% stake. Activision shareholders will receive a 24% premium on their shares over Friday's close of play.
The new publisher will be home to a large portfolio of properties including Guitar Hero, Call of Duty, Tony Hawk, Spider-Man, X-Men, James Bond, Shrek, World of Warcraft, Diablo, StarCraft, Crash Bandicoot and Spyro.
"This alliance is a major strategic step for Vivendi and is another illustration of our drive to extend our presence in the entertainment sector," said Jean-Bernard Levy, chairman of the management board and CEO of Vivendi. "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."
Robert Kotick, Activision's chairman and CEO added: "By combining leaders in mass-market entertainment and subscription-based online games, Activision Blizzard will be the only publisher with leading market positions across all categories of the rapidly growing interactive entertainment software industry and reach the broadest possible audiences."
Current Vivendi Games and Activision bosses Bruce Hack and Robert Kotick will be appointed as two of eleven directors of the new publisher.
Activision currently has one James Bond game on the slate for November 2008 (to tie-in with Bond 22) and a second game under development.
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