Ubisoft Entertainment shares rose yesterday after Vivendi SA added to its stake of the multinational video game publisher and developer, adding fuel to the fire of rumors of a possible bid for Vivendi to takeover Ubisoft.
Vivendi now owns 20.1% of Ubisoft’s stock and depending on how the market shakes out, might buy even more shares, the Paris company said in a statement released after the markets closed on Friday. Previously, Vivendi owned about 18%. The company hopes to build a “fruitful corporation” with Ubisoft and at the time of publication, isn’t considering a public tender offer, which translates to Vivendi asking stakeholders in Ubisoft to sell their shares to them at a specific price. It’s also not considering gaining control of the company for the next six months.
Rumors about a possible takeover rode up to a fever pitch after the company recently took control of Gameloft SE, a company also owned by the Guillemot family, in the form of a hostile bid, which is pretty much what it sounds like.
“A Gameloft scenario in which Vivendi has to launch a takeover bid in due form still seems like a probability,” Charles-Louis Planade, an analyst at Louis Capital Markets-Midcap Partners, said in a research paper today.
My take: I’ve been warning against this very same thing even before the hostile takeover of Gameloft not that long ago. I think as early as February. Anyways, if Vivendi effectively “buys” Ubisoft, I think the ramifications are going to be widespread. Excited for Ghost Recon Wildlands? Yeah? Well, now it’s a free-to-play MMOFPS that you can only play on PC. Yeah. That bad. I promise.