Vivendi Doesn’t Need Any Cash

Rising income from video games, mobile phones and France’s only paid-for television channel means Vivendi won’t need to raise cash to pay for recent acquisitions.

Europe’s biggest entertainment group warned it might be forced into raising capital through a rights issue to cover the purchase of broadband provider Neuf Cegetel and the creation of Activision Blizzard, a new joint venture games company, but chief exec Jean-Bernard Lévy said that won’t be necessary.

“We used less cash than expected to make our acquisitions,” he said. “We can continue Vivendi’s expansion with the current balance sheet structure and without tapping the market.”

In April he told newspapers the group might need between euro 1 billion and euro 2 billion, but no more acquisitions are pending and the company is on track to deliver the 8 percent growth that was forecast for the coming year.

The Q2 results came to the rescue, with net profit up 12.3 percent to euro 667 million ($968.76 million) on revenues that have increased 15 percent to euro 6 billion, compared with the same three months last year.

First-half net profit fell 20 percent to euro 1.22 billion ($1.77 billion) because of the cost of making the acquisitions.

Universal Music Group, which has an artist roster that now includes The Rolling Stones, reported a 5.3 percent drop in sales attributed to the declining popularity of CDs and increased online piracy.

The formation of Activision Blizzard will bring together Vivendi’s online role-playing game “World Of Warcraft” and Activision’s best-selling “Guitar Hero.”

Vivendi has a 54 percent stake in the new company and continues to add to the 11 million-subscription base of “World Of Warcraft.”