Vivendi topper happy with showbiz stakes

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Vivendi chief Jean-Bernard Levy sees upside to his firm's entertainment assets, which include Universal Music Group, a 20% stake in NBC Universal and a majority stake in Activision Blizzard.

"Jeff Zucker is managing very well through a transition period for NBC Universal," the company's CEO and chairman of the management board told The Hollywood Reporter. "The performance has been good recently."

Meanwhile, he is happy to have transformed Vivendi's video game business via the Activision Blizzard merger.

Levy says it's too early to say if or when his firm might boost its stake in the company beyond 54%, but he likes its early success and sees more on the horizon. He cites the quality of management and product as the reasons for the early success.

Asked whether Activision will go after Rockstar Games, whose deal with Take-Two Interactive comes up in February, Levy provided a possible hint. "As a very large and successful company, we are the best possible destination for quality studios," he said.

The CEO also explained why he thinks the music business is about to turn a corner: CD sales already have declined a lot, and Universal and other music firms have launched a slew of new services and products that consumers will increasingly embrace. (partialdiff)
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