UPDATE 02/06/2016 1.15am: Analyst Christine Arrington of IHS Technology told Eurogamer that she thinks a Vivendi takeover would be good for Ubisoft, despite its founders not wanting to relinquish their power.
Here's the full statement she sent us:
"Depending on the structure of the deal, it could actually be good for Ubisoft despite it evidently being against the founders wishes. We are going in to a very competitive part of the console cycle and despite Ubisoft's efforts to expand like Activision and EA have, the company is still heavily dependent on hits. It doesn't have an Assassin's Creed iteration this year, and it isn't in a position to acquire market share like Activision's King purchase. So, if a deal could be structured where Ubisoft sees and influx of capital to invest in its diversification strategy, and Vivendi takes a hand's off approach, it might not be a bad thing for the company and even its founders if they can come to a mutual agreement."
UPDATE 01/06/2016 11.55pm: Gameloft SE chairman and CEO Michel Guillemot is allegedly planning to resign, according to a report from Bloomberg.
Sources say Michel Guillemot will join his brother, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, to protect the Assassin's Creed publisher from undergoing a similar Vivendi takeover.
Vivendi has already seized control of nearly 18 per cent of Ubisoft's capital while the Guillemots control 15 per cent of the votes on the publisher's board.
ORIGINAL STORY 01/06/2016 8.05pm: Back in February French media corporation Vivendi sought to seize control of Ubisoft by aggressively buying shares of the company. That's still an ongoing process, but as of today Vivendi's strategy has led it to acquire a majority ownership at Gameloft, the mobile publisher founded by Ubisoft head honchos the Guillemot brothers.
A few months back Vivendi purchased 30 per cent of Gameloft and was tempting shareholders to part with their stock by offering 50 per cent over the market value for their shares. Vivendi's strategy paid off as it's now in charge of Gameloft, the publisher behind Asphalt and Modern Combat.
"You work for a company that is already one of the most renowned and creative in the mobile games segment worldwide," Vivendi said in a letter addressing Gameloft employees. "We are convinced that Gameloft, with Vivendi's backing, can be more ambitious in its growth plans. In a rapidly-evolving market, your company, which needs industrial and financial backing to develop, will be able to count on our full support and commitment."
"The joining of Vivendi and Gameloft offers opportunities for cooperation in many areas: the co-creation of content, the development of new franchises, the building of wider communities and audiences and the pooling of our distribution networks, among other examples," the new corporate overlords added.
When Vivendi first targeted Gameloft and Ubisoft, co-founder Yves Guillemot called the move "unsolicited and unwelcome". At the time Vivendi had acquired 10.39 per cent of Ubisoft. It now owns 17.73 per cent (via Reuters).
Guillemot had met with Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and had urged Canadian investors to not give in to Vivendi's offers.