Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here – but Microsoft has been mentioned, along with Tencent, Time Warner and some private-equity firms like KKR, Providence and Blackstone as companies that Reuters is claiming Vivendi is touting as potential buyers for Activision Blizzard.
The company, which Reuters says has a “huge debt burden” and a “flagging share price” cites a source as saying “It’s nothing official yet, but they’ve asked a bank to go and talk to possible buyers for Activision.”
Vivendi owns a 60% stake in Activision Blizzard, and a sale could help raise up to $10 billion, according to figures mentioned in the report.
Reuters says that Microsoft is a “player with the necessary firepower” but suggests they are “likely to be focused on the next generation of its Xbox console” and “probably don’t want to distract themselves too much.”
“But they are the ones who, if they want to stay in games, would think about owning some of these big franchises, not just providing the consoles,” adds the source. If Microsoft were to buy out Vivendi’s share in Activision, the benefits in terms of exclusive games from the publisher are startlingly obvious.