All’s been quiet on the hostile takeover front for the past few weeks, but yesterday Vivendi scooped up a controlling share in Ubisoft’s sister company, the mobile game publisher Gameloft.
As Gameloft is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Vivendi, current CEO Michael Guillemot is expected to resign by the end of the month. Guillemot helped to found Gameloft back in 2000, and in 1986, he and his brothers founded Ubisoft.
Michael Guillemot and his brother, Yves, attempted to block the acquisition by legal means, but that proved unsuccessful, so they were forced to sell off their controlling shares of Gameloft, a move they weren’t too thrilled about.
Just last week, Vivendi sent a letter to Gameloft employees, which began: You will join shortly an international content and media group where creativity is the heart of its organization and its activities. 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,” and promising cooperation and “ambitious growth plans.”
With Gameloft now a part of Vivendi, their next move is expected to be Ubisoft. They already own a 17.7% stake in the company, but any attempt at a buyout won’t happen for at least six months, according to one of Vivendi’s recent stock market filings.
Ubisoft might not be the most popular publisher among the general gaming public, but their independence is still preferred. We’ll get a good glimpse of how life under Vivendi would be for Ubisoft by how Gameloft is treated in the coming months.