French media group Vivendi has agreed to sell control of US games firm Activision Blizzard, the company behind Call of Duty and World of Warcraft.
It is the second big deal announced by Vivendi this week.
On Tuesday, the company said it was in talks over selling its controlling stake in Maroc Telecom for 4.2bn euros ($5.6bn; £3.6bn).
The deals are part of Vivendi’s plans to restructure the business and reduce its debt levels.
“It provides the group with greater financial flexibility and creates value for our shareholders.”
The company said it would use part of the sale proceeds to strengthen its balance sheet and maintain the firm’s debt rating.
It added that Vivendi’s board would determine “the appropriate use of the remaining proceeds”.
UBS analyst Polo Tang said that after the firm had paid down debt, “we expect the rest to be used for share buybacks or M&A to bulk up the media side of the business”.
Under the terms of the deal, which is expected to be completed in September, Activision will by back 429 million shares from Vivendi for $5.8bn.
In addition, an investor group including Activision management will also buy 172 million shares for $2.3bn.
After the sale, Vivendi will retain a holding of 12% in the games firm.
(Source – BBC)