Wednesday April 26, 2017

Vivendi Moves Closer to Hostile Takeover Bid of Ubisoft

Vivendi has moved closer to a hostile takeover of video game developer and publisher Ubisoft. Vivendi has a 25% ownership stake in the French corporation, but still hasn't secured a board seat. According to French law, when Vivendi owns 30% of Ubisoft's shares, they will be required to make an offer to Ubisoft. The Guillemot family that currently owns Ubisoft has vowed to fight until the bitter end to maintain control of their corporation.

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This hostile takeover seems to stem from appeasing Vivendi shareholders who's share prices have decreased by 3% since this hostile takeover strategy was implemented. Vivendi has it's sights set on advertising group Havas also and has spent $16 billion on shareholders and acquisitions such as Telecom Italia and Mediaset. The end goal is for Vivendi to become a European media powerhouse. The courts in Italy have rejected this mandate by ordering Vivendi to sell their stake in Mediaset or Telecom Italia within the year as they are in breach of rules that prevent a concentration of corporate power.

In the case of Ubisoft, which is 25 percent owned by Vivendi, resistance from its founding Guillemot family could potentially lead to a costly, unsolicited full takeover bid.

"Vivendi is moving to the second phase, everything will take place this year," one of the sources said, referring to Havas and Ubisoft. "The logical thing would be to buy Ubisoft," the second source said, adding that Bollore would not buy the video games maker at any price and could consider other targets in China.