Sources close to Reuters have told the news agency that Vivendi is likely to consider acquisitions in the video game and advertising business this year as its investors have expressed concerns about the company’s strategy going forward.
The French conglomerate’s shares have fallen amid uncertainty about what it plans to do next. Over the past three years, its Chairman Vincent Bollore has spent a significant amount of cash on expansion efforts and now finds himself having to defend his position. One of the ways he’s expected to do so is to actually go through the acquisitions before the year’s over.
Two companies have been named as likely targets of Vivendi’s expansion strategies: advertising company Havas and Assassin’s Creed studio, Ubisoft. “Vivendi is moving to the second phase, everything will take place this year,” said one of the sources with reference to both companies. “The logical thing would be to buy Ubisoft,” said another.
Ubisoft won’t go down without a fight, however. The developer has been fiercely resisting a takeoever and if Vivendi goes ahead, it could “potentially lead to a costly, unsolicited full takeover bid,” notes Reuters.
Vivendi has had its eyes set on Ubisoft since 2015 and has continued to increase its stake in the studio despite strong condemnation from CEO Yves Guillemot.