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Vivendi undecided on Ubisoft takeover bid

Yves Guillemot continues to prevent hostile takeover with shareholder growth

Vivendi is undecided over whether to make a bid for Ubisoft or simply sell off its stock, Bloomberg reports.

Citing Vivendi COO Stephane Roussel, the owner of Universal Music may be in a position in November to make a move as double-voting rights will move Vivendi's stake in the company to near the 30% threshold (it currently owns around 26%), which is when the firm will be required to make a bid under French law.

Vivendi didn't force a vote at the latest Annual General Meeting in an effort to get on Ubisoft's board. Despite this, it did abstain from a vote that would have granted free shares to employees, which meant the measure failed.

Ubisoft boss Yves Guillemot has been defiant in his efforts to keep Vivendi at bay, telling Bloomberg: "A video game company cannot grow within a media conglomerate." Ubisoft has grown its business significantly in the last 12 months, with aggressive expansion into Asia, plus growth in digital and mobile - something it has been able to achieve following Vivendi's hostile takeover of another Guillemot family-run business, Gameloft.

As a result, shareholders are happy for now with the current situation at Ubisoft, with sales predicted to rise by almost 20% during the next financial year.

Guillemot said that shareholders would have voted against Vivendi taking a Board seat because "shareholders don't want creeping control."

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Christopher Dring avatar
Christopher Dring: Chris is a 17-year media veteran specialising in the business of video games. And, erm, Doctor Who
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