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'Banks summoned to broker $8bn Activision Blizzard sale'

Publisher may have to buy back its own shares

Executives in charge of the biggest games publisher in the west, Activision Blizzard, have reportedly enlisted two multinational investment banks to help facilitate a sale of the company.

Vivendi SA, which has a 61 per cent stake in the Call of Duty publisher, is believed to have hired Barclays and Goldman Sachs Group Inc to help sell the publisher to interested parties.

Activision and Vivendi have not confirmed that the group is up for sale, though speculation on the matter has been persistent in the financial sectors.

Vivendi owns a 61 per cent stake of the publishing giant following the 2008 merger Activision and Blizzard Entertainment.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, one option on the table is for the videogame publisher to buy back its stake that was sold to Vivendi. This would cost the firm about $8 billion, however.