France’s Vivendi has reportedly won the support of the majority of Gameloft’s shareholders in its hostile takeover bid for the mobile games company.
The French media giant has moved a step closer to controlling the company as US-based hedge fund Amber Capital is understood to have agreed to tender its entire stake. Vivendi and Amber jointly hold 44% of Gameloft, around twice that of the company’s founding Guillemot family, which have strongly opposed the takeover.
The Guillemot family were in talks with an unidentified white knight to challenge the Vivendi bid, but it’s understood those talks have broken down. The final result of Vivendi’s offer will be known later this week.
Headquartered in Paris with 28 subsidiaries around the world, Gameloft makes popular mobile games including Order & Chaos and Dungeon Hunter.
Industry experts believe the Gameloft bid is a precursor to Vivendi making a play for sister banner Ubisoft Entertainment, the company behind Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell, which are both being adapted into movies. Vivendi already owns a 17.7% stake in Ubisoft.
Vivendi chairman Vincent Bollore is known for aggressive takeover tactics, which have seen the company gain control of French pay-TV operator Canal Plus and Telecom Italia.