Vivendi Takes Over Gameloft, Eyes Ubisoft Next

Media conglomerate Vivendi has successfully seized control of the mobile game publisher Gameloft, and it looks like they're not done yet. Next up: Ubisoft. The Paris-based Vivendi, which owned Activision Blizzard until late 2013, has been gobbling up shares in both game companies for the past few months as part of a hostile takeover attempt. Vivendi's strategy has been simple: offer shareholders an inflated price in order to convince them to sell.

This week saw victory #1, as Vivendi now has majority ownership in Gameloft, the company best known for games like Modern Combat and Asphalt.

"You will join shortly an international content and media group where creativity is the heart of its organisation and its activities," Vivendi's management said in a letter to Gameloft employees today. "We are very pleased to welcome you and to pool your talents with ours, so that together, we will be a stronger presence on the worldwide entertainment market."

Both Ubisoft and Gameloft, also based on Paris, are run by the Guillemot brothers. Vivendi has been slowly purchasing Ubisoft shares and now owns around 17 per cent of that publisher, much to Yves Guillemot's dismay. Ubisoft has been fighting back by approaching Canadian investors in hopes of getting long-term commitments from shareholders who won't sell to Vivendi.


Comments

    The Paris-based Vivendi, which owned Activision Blizzard until late 2013
    Wait.. didn't they own just Blizzard until they merged with Activision?

    Taking over Gameloft doesn't bother me much personally but worries me that they'll be 100% focused on Ubi (and whatever their next target is) now. Ubisoft have made a lot of bad decisions and shitty games over the years but they've made some great ones too, would rather not see them torn apart.

      Vivendi owned 63% of Acti-Blizzard post merger until 2013 when a buyback was arranged that dropped their share to 11.8% it was further reduced to about half that in 2014 and then this year sold the remaining shares.

      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-15/vivendi-sells-activision-blizzard-shares-netting-1-1-billion

    So I can understand why the Guillemot brothers don't like this, but is there any reason to believe a change in ownership is going to be particularly bad for the developers or customers? Was their time as owner of Blizzard and Activision Blizzard that bad?

Join the discussion!