Vivendi's unwelcome invasion of Ubisoft is a saga that has stretched on for nearly two years now. There have been many chapters to the story, but almost every single one of them ends with Vivendi buying more control of Ubisoft against the video game publisher's wishes. An eventual majority buyout seems inevitable at the rate this is going. If Vivendi has its way, it'll be sooner than later.
According to a new report from Reuters, Vivendi is looking to accelerate its expansion into both Ubisoft and advertising group Havas. This is because Vivendi chairman Vincent Bollore has been under scrutiny from shareholders lately due to mixed performance and declining stock prices. The strategy, seemingly, is to alleviate these concerns by acquiring more companies and proving itself as a European media powerhouse.
As of right now, Ubisoft is 25 percent owned by Vivendi. A source told Reuters "Vivendi is moving into the second phase, everything will take place this year." The silver lining is that the source added Vivendi will not necessarily buy Ubisoft at any price; if things get too expensive, it might look for an acquisition in China instead.
This leaves enough wiggle room to indicate that the Guillemots, Ubisoft's founding family, might be able to fend off a hostile takeover. As of last year, they were looking to increase investment from Canadian shareholders in an effort to better control the capital. It's too early to predict which direction this will go, but Vivendi wants to speed up the process one way or another.
Ubisoft declined to comment for this article.