Vivendi has balls
French media conglomerate Vivendi has completed its hostile takeover of mobile publisher Gameloft. Now that it’s a done deal, Vivendi is welcoming Gameloft employees to their new family.
In a letter that, ostensibly, says “you work for us now,” Vivendi greeted the Gameloft team. “You will join shortly an international content and media group where creativity is the heart of its organization and its activities.We are very pleased to welcome you and to pool your talents with ours, so that together, we will be a stronger presence on the worldwide entertainment market,” it reads. The letter continues like that, several paragraphs of broad business-speak talking about the future success of the company.
Of course, the kicker is that no one in any position of authority at Gameloft wants to be associated with Vivendi. It’s called a hostile takeover because the stake-buying was unwanted and unwelcomed by Gameloft. Suddenly, Gameloft doesn’t have the majority control to make decisions pertaining to its own company. What’s more, Gameloft likely didn’t even see any extra money for its trouble, as Vivendi bought already-outstanding shares from third-parties.
The bigger impact this may have on the video game industry is that it’s quite obviously leading to a possible takeover of Ubisoft. Both Gameloft and Ubisoft are owned by the Guillemot brothers. Vivendi has been ramping up its control of Ubisoft over the past eight months, and Ubisoft is desperately trying to stop it. The Guillemots already let one of their babies slip away; they’d very much like to retain the cash cow.
Letter to Gameloft employees [Vivendi]