It looks like Guillemot brothers’ nightmares might actually become reality as French media conglomerate, Vivendi, is now in the process of a mandatory takeover bid for Gameloft, with its eyes reportedly set on Ubisoft next. Gameloft, which is owned by Michael Guillemot, now has 30% of its shares under Vivendi’s ownership. As per French law, owning 30% of a company’s shares means the buyer has to make an attempt to purchase a controlling stake at a reasonable price.
According to Bryan, Garnier & Co. analyst, Richard-Maxime Beaudoux, Vivendi plans to eventually acquire Ubisoft and interestingly, the company’s recent press release does indicate that it may be the case.
After the necessary sale of Activision Blizzard to reduce Vivendi’s significant debt, the Group decided, in October 2015, to invest in Ubisoft (holding a current interest of 14.9 per cent) and Gameloft (holding in excess of the threshold of 30 per cent as of February 18, 2016). Today, Vivendi is the largest holder of shares of these two leading video game companies, each of which is headquartered in France, facilitating business cooperation. These investments are part of a strategic vision of the operational convergence between Vivendi’s content and distribution platforms on one hand and the products of the two companies on the other.
This is certainly going to upset the Guillemot brothers who have previously indicated their displeasure with Vivendi’s moves. Ubisoft’s Yves Guillemot said that Vivendi’s move to buy the developer’s shares was unwelcome. However, the company continued to increase its stake despite his concerns and it doesn’t seem to show any signs of stopping here either.
What do our readers think of this? Is Vivendi’s takeover of Gameloft and indications of acquiring Ubisoft bad news?