Late last year, Vivendi, a former stakeholder in Activision, decided to move their focus elsewhere. Ubisoft and Gameloft suddenly found themselves being bought out. Vivendi purchased just about 10% of each company’s stock and threatened that, should they choose to, they’d be buying more. And that’s just what they’re doing.

Vivendi now owns 30.01% of Gameloft stock. Why the .01%? Because if any single owner of stock in that company gets over 30% they are forced, by French law, to offer a buyout bid. Vivendi began offering to buy any Gameloft investor’s stock at six cents per share, 50% higher than the market price at the time, which drove the company’s stock to the same six cent price. No indication yet if Vivendi will offer another 50% on top of their six cent offer, but their statements and strategy don’t seem to be from a company that’s just following the law.

“After the necessary sale of Activision Blizzard to reduce Vivendi’s significant debt, the Group decided, in October 2015, to invest in Ubisoft (holding a current interest of 14.9 per cent) and Gameloft (holding in excess of the threshold of 30 per cent as of February 18, 2016). Today, Vivendi is the largest holder of shares of these two leading video game companies, each of which is headquartered in France, facilitating business cooperation. These investments are part of a strategic vision of the operational convergence between Vivendi’s content and distribution platforms on one hand and the products of the two companies on the other.”

This honestly seems like the first step in, at least, owning Gameloft. They’ll still need 50% of shares to have control, and who knows if they’ll switch their aim to Ubisoft next. It is notable that both Gameloft and Ubisoft were both founded by the Guillemot brothers and both Michael and Yves Guillemot are CEO of each respective company.

The coming week could change a lot. Will Gameloft’s investors be persuaded by Vivendi offer? At nearly 15%, will Vivendi up their investment in Ubisoft to force a buyout bid? Is Ubisoft next? The markets open tomorrow.

About Michael

Managing Editor around here, moderator over at Giant Bomb, writer at

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