French conglomerate Vivendi is reportedly planning a hostile takeover bid of Ubisoft later this year. According to a report from Reuters, Vivendi is looking to expand its current 25 percent stake in Ubisoft, the publisher behind franchises like Assassin's Creed and Far Cry, forcing an unsolicited takeover bid.
"Vivendi is moving to the second phase, everything will take place this year," one source revealed to Reuters. A second source posited that buying Ubisoft would be a logical move for Vivendi, but the company "could consider other targets in China."
Vivendi has its fingers in many pies, so to speak, including the video game sector. The firm was previously a majority owner of Activision Blizzard, and it currently claims a controlling stake in Gameloft — a company originally founded by the Guillemot family, which also founded Ubisoft. If Vivendi exceeds a 30 percent stake in Ubisoft, it is required under French law to submit a public offer for the company.
For its part, the Guillemot family previously expressed an interest in keeping Ubisoft from falling under Vivendi's thumb. Ubisoft president Yves Guillemot told the Wall Street Journal in December: "The creeping control strategy implemented by Vivendi is dangerous. We think that there's a great risk of shareholders losing value."
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