Vivendi Issues $1.4 Billion in Bonds to Assist With Activision Merger


Vivendi SA has announced the sale of five and ten-year U.S. bonds to help finance its takeover of Activision and French telecommunications company Neuf Cegetel.

The company plans to raise $1.4 billion in total, with the sale of $700 million in aggregate principal amount of 5.75 percent senior notes which will mature in 2013, and another $700 million at a rate of 6.625 percent, which will come due in 2018. The bonds were offered for private sale to “qualified institutional buyers.”

According to Vivendi, the goal of the bond sale is to re-balance its debt structure between bank and bond debt, and to lengthen its average maturity. It will also allow the company to improve the balance of its euro-dollar debt, and to gain access to longer maturity periods than those in the euro market. The sale of the bonds is expected to close on April 4.

Vivendi revealed its acquisition of Activision in December 2007, resulting in the creation of Activision Blizzard, the industry’s third-largest publishing entity with a value of $18.9 billion. The company announced in January that it had taken a $5 billion loan to finance the deal, but said on Tuesday the bond sale would serve as a substitute to drawings under its “largely sufficient” bank facilities.

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