Vivendi acquires remaining shares of Gameloft, likely eyeing Ubisoft next

Guillemot family believes that Vivendi's hostile takeover goes against Gameloft's best interests.


Vivendi executed a hostile takeover of mobile-game publisher Gameloft last week. Today, the mass media conglomerate announced that it will acquire the remaining shares of brothers Michael and Yves Guillemot, bringing it one step closer to the bigger prize: ownership of Ubisoft.

According to a report published in The Wall Street Journal (via GameSpot), the Guillemots control 21.7 percent of Gameloft. Those shares will be sold when the final sale to Vivendi goes through. The Guillemots told WSJ that the family "maintains that Vivendi's hostile approach goes against the best interest of Gameloft, both for its activity and for its teams."

Former Gameloft CEO Michel Guillemot tendered his resignation last week following Vivendi's hostile takeover. He will remain with Gameloft until June 29, at which point a new regime will take over and incorporate new strategies for the company. Michel also sits on the board at Ubisoft, where his brother Yves serves as CEO.

Vivendi's push to acquire Gameloft (and, one speculates, Ubisoft) began not as a rush, but as a crawl. It purchased enough stock to acquire a minority ownership in October 2015 and has slowly increased its stake. Yves Guillemot has been vocal in saying that Ubisoft and Gameloft wished to remain independent, and that Vivendi's encroachment was neither wanted nor needed.

The Guillemots won't hand over Ubisoft without a fight. Yves and other members of the company have been meeting with investors around Canada in an effort to build support for its founders and management. (Although based in France, Ubisoft Montreal is the company's largest office.)

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David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

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