For $1.1 Billion
France's Vivendi SA said Friday it had sold its remaining shares in Activision Blizzard Inc. to an unnamed financial institution for US$1.1 billion, taking advantage of the rise in the videogames group's share price in the past year.

The French pay-television and music group said it would gain another $400 million by recovering a cash deposit in the transaction.

"The decision to implement these transactions was taken in view of the evolution of the Activision Blizzard stock price," Vivendi said. The stock has risen more than 90% in the past year.

Vivendi sold its controlling stake in Activision Blizzard, a powerhouse in console video games with hit franchises such as "Call of Duty" and "World of Warcraft," two years ago, but had kept 5.7% of the videogame company's shares.

Vivendi, its cash reserves bolstered by a series of other asset sales in the past two years, has recently re-invested in the video games sector, acquiring stakes in French game publishers Ubisoft Entertainment SA and Gameloft SE.

Vivendi, the owner of Universal Music Group and TV company Canal Plus, has also acquired a large stake in Telecom Italia, Italy's former national telecom monopoly.