recently, the famous game developers activision blizzard spent $5.83 billion to buy back the parent company French Vivendi (Vivendi) holds a stake in, thus management equity ratio rose to 62.5%; In addition, by activision blizzard CEO Bobby Mr Kotick (Bobby Kotick) leading investment consortium also involved in the deal, $2.34 billion from vivendi about 24.9% stake. After the completion of the deal, vivendi hold the equity of activision blizzard cut from the original 61% to 12%.
Chinese Internet giant tencent also involved in the deal, and with the identity of the investor, the only industry to join bobby in the consortium led by Mr Kotick. Through strategic stake, tencent has activision blizzard about 6% of the company.
as early as last year, tencent and activision blizzard has been the single product business cooperation, tencent will buy activision blizzard rumors and from then on.
a person familiar with the industry to the “first financial daily” said that activision blizzard’s management repurchase is the parent company vivendi eager to repatriate funds as soon as possible to develop other media business consideration; But on the other hand also revealed, tencent internationalization pace is accelerating, and the game business is its overseas brand strategy in the vanguard of war “.
first cooperation investment again
can succeed in the global biggest game developers, tencent needs is not only the power, and luck.
an insider told reporters, tencent as early as a year and a half ago activision blizzard in actively seeking investment opportunities, but with vivendi’s attitude, as well as careful consideration for the investment risk, tencent’s final choice to assist activision blizzard management first buy small stakes.
apparently, hold activision blizzard’s 61% stake in French vivendi with decision-making power of the deal. Due to the rapid expansion caused billions of dollars in the past few years high debt and continuously downward economic situation, vivendi in recent years has been “slimming” save his life.
at present, vivendi’s business across the telecommunications, music, video, and games. In September 2012, vivendi promote its universal music companies record $1.9 billion bid for 1.9 billion generations, for vivendi’s content integration of wireless business, which is seen as a transfer of vivendi strategic direction. And the nasdaq listed company from activision blizzard liquidity and earnings of the company value for vivendi “purse” strategy.
in July 2012, vivendi replaced the new CEO, and at the same time with tencent, call of duty online “. Released in October 2012, vivendi will consider selling activision blizzard’s message; At the same time, vivendi new CEO entered activision blizzard’s board of directors, seems to be in the exercise of control over the sale of activision blizzard.
in July last year and activision blizzard is “call of duty online” cooperation conference, chairman of the board ma huateng of tencent also attended the scene, this in the game of tencent in the past cooperation is not common in the conference.
“tencent is not a single game.” A the personage inside course of study says, tencent has been eager to with overseas famous game developers to achieve a stable and lasting strategic relationship. And this relationship is usually from a game of cooperation began to establish trust relationship; Again after conditions are ripe for small stakes in; If possible, more will gradually increase the proportion of investment.
marriage, both sides of the capital is not “flash marriage”. Tencent’s interactive entertainment business group of an executive confirmed: “last year, the Pony (ma), Martin (tencent company President Mr Lau) has had contacts and Bobby Kotick.”
according to a source close to the repurchase of capital sources: tencent and activision blizzard capital cooperation, at first meet some obstacles, tried to through Russia DST vc institutions strategic investment, and indirect stake; Finally, set up a consortium led by activision blizzard executives, tencent “on board”.
coincidentally, during this year’s ChinaJoy, tencent games announced the FIFA online cooperation with EA. And the financial performance of the approximate vivendi recession, EA companies in the United States in recent years, the financial performance is not very optimistic. Results showed that in the first quarter of 2013, EA on revenue of $1.209 billion, fell 11.6%; Net profit of $323 million, fell 19%.
these people said, tencent will copy with activision blizzard last year “after the first single game cooperation, investment in” pattern is still unknown. Tencent game, vice President of Ma Xiaoyi told our reporter that tencent will strategic stakes in EA, revealed the inconvenience.
radical overseas investment
now, tencent value-added business income accounted for 78% of tencent’s revenues, the vast majority from its games business. Therefore, tencent games to ahead of other business take the lead in overseas.
some analysts pointed out that tencent’s overseas strategy includes several aspects: first, take the lead in “sea” by tencent games, starting the whole tencent brand, convenient for other business brand channel output overseas. Is also based on this, tencent games business belongs to tencent interactive entertainment division, constantly “tencent game” four word as its brands into propaganda. In 2010, tencent games had brand roadshow in Wall Street.
second, from the point of the whole industry ecology, the game content of domestic products tend to be high homogeneity, tencent as a distribution and operation platform, in order to guarantee the high quality of the content, must be involved in the content of the upstream industry development.
three is, from the user level, the characteristics of tencent user platform and user relationship makes easier to let the niche of the long tail of tencent game content on the user platform play advantage, and this is tencent constantly get in cooperation with overseas game segment. For now, tencent game has frequently introduce overseas occupy each segment of the top of the game, such as the shooter “through wire” and “call of duty online”, arcade of the DNF, sports FIFA online, competitive category “hero alliance” and so on.
in addition, as the QQ users growth dividend gradually downward, tencent needs to rely on niche game content to attract players outside of QQ users. In the first quarter of 2012 to 2013 in the first quarter, QQ game platform the highest year-on-year growth in the number of simultaneous users, in turn, 14.3%, 17.3%, 17.5%, 17.3% and 4.5%.
in order to ensure quality products content source that provides a continuous, tencent games by the large investment. In February 2011, tencent’s $1.679 billion acquisition of Riot “hero alliance” developers 92.78% stake in the Games, Riot Games to deal valued at $2.168 billion. But the acquisition of that year (2011), Riot Games full-year net loss of $820 million, while the tencent value-added business income over the same period is $3.66 billion.
in May this year, tencent game studios layoffs North America more than 20 people, retain only business cooperation, was laid personnel account for 40% of the whole staff. In 2009, tencent games President Ren Yuxin has revealed that tencent company has amounted to more than ten in overseas acquisitions. So far, tencent into investment overseas game company has nearly 30. Among them, the media reported a return to a seven south Korean game company.
the investment activision blizzard about 6% of the company, also can be regarded as tencent after radical investments to move carefully. The personage inside course of study says, in recent years, activision blizzard team personnel being drained, research ability is declining, if take a high proportion of equity investment or risk. Results show that the current affiliates activision blizzard entertainment’s products in the world of warcraft subscribers to 7.7 million people worldwide, fell by 7.2%.