French media conglomerate Vivendi, cannot help itself from buying shares of video game publisher Ubisoft apparently.
On December 7, Vivendi announced that it has acquired even more shares in Ubisoft giving them stake of 25.15% in the compnay. Vivendi claims to now hold 22.92% of voting rights in the French game publisher. However, they are totally not trying to take over Ubisoft guys, they totally said so.
Gamasutra reports that, “If [Vivendi] manages to acquire a 30 percent stake in [Ubisoft], it’ll be forced by French law to table a mandatory takeover bid and pursue a controlling stake…”
In a statement on Vivendi’s own site, they claim that “Vivendi is considering continuing to acquire shares depending on market conditions.” So it certainly sounds like they positioning themselves for a takeover, given that they need to acquire less than 5% more shares. Also, earlier in the year, Vivendi acquired mobile game publisher Gameloft, which was founded by Michel Guillemot, brother of Ubisoft founder Yves Guillemot. It certainly seems that some shenanigans are afoot here.
Ubisoft is obviously not happy about these developments and provided the following statement to GameSpot:
“This is another indication that Vivendi is continuing its ill-advised and value-destructive approach of attempting to take creeping control of companies like Ubisoft… As we’ve said previously, we are undeterred by these actions and remain focused on providing the best experiences to our players and fans, and to delivering long-term value for all of our shareholders.”
Certainly feels like it’s not the merriest of holidays right now for the folks at Ubisoft.