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Activision Looking to Blow More Cash

| 4 Mar 2009 16:11
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Activision Blizzard, cash-flush and ready to spend, is considering new acquisitions in the near future as the recession drives the prices of potential takeover targets to irresistible lows.

Activision surpassed Electronic Arts as the world's largest independent videogame publisher last year when it merged with Vivendi Games to become Activision Blizzard. And while many other publishers are feeling the pinch of the economic downturn, Activision is packing $3 billion in cash and no debt, and is thus in a great position to take advantage of the current buyer's market.

"The combination of Activision holding a fair amount of cash and presumably prices being depressed, not only for publicly traded companies but also likely for new intellectual property licensing rights, should certainly create opportunities," Activision Publishing CEO Mike Griffith said in an interview with Bloomberg. The company is looking to "fill holes in its product line" and expand internationally, he said.

But while Activision's solid financial footing, not to mention its access to the Magic Money Machine known to gamers as World of Warcraft, have put it in a position to do pretty much whatever it wants, Griffiths said the company won't snap up new properties just for the sake of blowing some coin. "We won't rush to judgment just because we have cash," he said. "We will be very disciplined."

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