CEO Bobby Kotick is at the Sun Valley confab, along with a laundry list of potential buyers. Microsoft ,of course, has a big investment in games with its Xbox 360 business, as well as big titles like Halo. Time Warner has also been thrown out there — it’s committed to all sorts of content, and has plenty of cash on hand. Another potential match is Chinese Internet giant Tencent, which recently struck a deal with Activision to bring "Call of Duty" online to China. And then there are the private equity players with a taste for media: Providence, KKR, and Blackstone. Representatives from all these companies have attended Sun Valley in years past.
None of these companies will comment: I hear they’re kicking the tires, but sources tell me there hasn’t been a huge amount of interest, especially at an $8 billion price tag. The concerns about the company are straightforward — Activision is the largest player in the packaged video game business, which has suffered industry-wide declines. One source said there are concerns that the video game industry peaked in 2011. Another said that the fact that only 60 percent of the company is up for sale is a huge disadvantage, as the new owner wouldn’t have that much control or freedom, especially in light of CEO Kotick’s big personality.Page 2 of 3 | Prev Page | Next Page