Activision, Vivendi In $18.9B Deal

Paris-based Vivendi said Sunday that it plans to acquire control of Santa Monica-based Activision, in a $18.9 billion dollar deal. Vivendi said that it will combine Vivendi Games, Vivendi's interactive entertainment business, with Activision, to create a new firm called Activision Blizzard. The new company will own both the popular Guitar Hero, Call of Duty, and Tony Hawk titles from Activision, as well as the popular World of Warcraft online game, Crash Bandicoot, and other games from Vivendi. According to the companies, Vivendi Games will be merged with a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision, and that Vivendi will convert shares of Vivendi Games into 295.3 million in new shares of Activision common stock; Vivendi will also purchase 62.9 million newly issued shares of Activision common stock, and once that closes Activision Blizzard will buy $4 billion worth of its shares, giving Vivendi 68% ownership of the firm. The new company will trade as ATVI on the NASDAQ.