Vivendi increases to more than 20% stake in Ubisoft

by bold-lichterman

Vivendi continues to increase its stake in Ubisoft. Vincent Bolloré’s group announced Friday that it had risen to 20.10% of the capital of the French video game publisher, thus allowing it to grant itself 17.76% of the voting rights. Information that arises as Vivendi has not stopped expressing its interest in Ubisoft for several months, gradually taking an ever larger share of its capital. Last May, it had already risen to 17.73% of the capital of the company founded by the Guillemot family, according to an opinion published by the Autorité des marchés financiers.

Following this new transaction, Vivendi provided more information on its objectives in its declaration of crossing of threshold and of intention addressed to the AMF. The media group, which claims to have used its available cash to make these redemptions, specifies that it “plans to continue its purchases depending on market conditions”. However, he assures that he “does not plan to file a public offer on Ubisoft, nor to acquire control”. In addition, in accordance with what had already been reported to the AMF last May, Vivendi wishes to weigh more within Ubisoft and plans to submit a request for the reorganization of the company’s board of directors.

Gameloft controlled by Vivendi

Also in this document, Vivendi explains that its vision is to operate “operational convergence between Vivendi’s content and platforms and Ubisoft’s productions”. As a reminder, the company behind the securities Assassin’s Creed or Tom clancy’s achieved a turnover of 1.39 billion euros in its 2015-2016 financial year, for an operating result (non-IFRS) of 169 million euros.

These movements within Ubisoft’s capital come as Vivendi recently took control of another French player in the video game sector: Gameloft. This company specializing in mobile games, also founded by the Guillemot brothers, saw Vivendi take control of its capital after a long standoff. In the process, the Guillemots brothers announced that they would sell the shares they still held in the company. The latter now only have 1% of the capital, for 1.56% of the voting rights, according to an opinion of the AMF. In an interview published on June 9 in the newspaper The world, Yves Guillemot explained his approach: “We believe that Vivendi does not understand the profession of video games, and will get lost in it”.