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Vivendi ups stakes in Gameloft, begins mandatory takeover

Vivendi ups stakes in Gameloft, begins mandatory takeover

February 19, 2016 | By Chris Kerr

French media conglomerate and former Activision Blizzard owner Vivendi has purchased over 30 percent of Gameloft's stock, and as a result has tabled a mandatory takeover bid

According to French law, once a buyer owns more than 30 percent of a company's shares, it must make an attempt to purchase a controlling stake for a reasonable price. 

Although the takeover offer is mandatory there's no need for investors to sell, meaning the acquisition is still in the balance. 

That being said, Vivendi is doing its best to tempt shareholders by offering a price of 6 euros per Gameloft share, which represents a premium of 50.4 percent over the share price as of October 14, 2015.

According to Vivendi, the proposed takeover would "create value for both companies."

"Vivendi intends to offer Gameloft new development levers, both industrial and financial [and] is convinced that, as with its other businesses, the key to success for a company such as Gameloft is the development of its creative content and talent," read a Vivendi statement.

"Vivendi and Gameloft share many commonalities, including French roots, an international dimension and a similar understanding of cultural diversity to meet the expectations of consumers in each country."

The company's attempts to acquire Gameloft are unsurprising, with Vivendi having upped its stakes in the mobile publisher to 10.2 percent back in October last year. 

Vivendi has also shown interest in French game developer and publisher Ubisoft, buying a 10.39 percent stake in the Assassin's Creed creator for 244 million euros in October 2015. 

Ubisoft, however, has expressed a desire to remain independent, with Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot calling Vivendi's attention "unsolicited and unwelcome," and pledging to "fight to preserve our independence."

Vivendi, though, has other ideas, and last year explained that its Gameloft and Ubisoft investments are "part of a strategic vision of operational convergence between Vivendi’s content and platforms on one hand and the Ubisoft and Gameloft productions in video games on the other."

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