Vivendi is reported to have inked a deal that would give it an additional 15 per cent stake in Gameloft, as it continued upping its stake in the France-based games publisher.
A public tender from Gameloft also saw its offer value increased from €7.20 to €8 per share, an automatic move after Vivendi purchased a block of shares at the higher price. This values the target at about €680 million, compared with €610 million previously, Reuters said.
As of 19 May, Vivendi held 29.37 per cent of Gameloft’s share capital and 26.47 per cent of its voting rights.
According to reports, US investor Amber Capital agreed to tender its 14.67 per cent stake (13.17 per cent voting rights) in Gameloft to Vivendi.
The Guillemot family, which founded Gameloft and is still a significant shareholder, will likely not be pleased with Amber’s decision as it considers a takeover by Vivendi a hostile one.
When Amber’s stake is added to Vivendi’s, the buyer’s shareholding increases to around 44 per cent, while the Guillemot’s stake is 21 per cent.
Gameloft also lost an appeal to suspend Vivendi’s tender offer, French markets regulator AMF said, and 27 May has been set as the deadline for a bid.
Back in February, Vivendi announced its intent to launch an offer for Gameloft shares at a price of €6 each. It subsequently increased its bid to €7.20 per share. Both offers were dismissed by Gameloft.
Meanwhile, Vivendi increased its stake in game publisher Ubisoft, also controlled by the Guillemots, to 17.7 per cent earlier this month, .
In a recent earnings call, Vivendi’s chief financial officer, Herve Philippe, said “it’s been quite clearly explained that we intend to launch an offer on Ubisoft in the next six months”.
As for Gameloft, Vivendi said “we will not be able to accept any questions related to Gameloft” during the call.