Gameloft’s Guillemot stepping down to help protect Ubisoft from Vivendi

Ben Parfitt
Gameloft’s Guillemot stepping down to help protect Ubisoft from Vivendi

Michel Guillemot intends to quit Gameloft after its shareholders backed the hostile takeover at the hands of Vivendi.

That's according to Bloomberg, which says that Vivendi now controls 56 per cent of Gameloft voting rights and will appoint a director majority at the company's AGM at the end of the month.

Michel Guillemot will now join forces with brother Yves Guillemot, CEO of Ubisoft, to help protect that company from a similar takeover, the site adds. It adds that the pair, who own 15 per cent of Ubisoft voting rights, are already on the hunt for a white knight that can be appointed to secure its ownership.

In October last year Yves Guillemot described Vivendi's advances as unsolicited and unwelcome”.

Vivendi currently control 18 per cent of Ubisoft's voting rights and wants board representation, although it has claimed it is not looking to assume control for the time being at least.

The company yesterday issued an open letter to Gameloft employees.

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,” CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine and COO Stephane Roussel.

You work for a company that is already one of the most renowned and creative in the mobile games segment worldwide. 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.

In a buoyant digital environment that favors convergence between creative industries, 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.

We have much to gain from close collaboration with Gameloft's teams and all its partners. You will take part in a great collective adventure as Vivendi pursues its ambitious redeployment in content and media. This plan will rely above all on your talents and creative freedom. You represent Gameloft's greatest resource. We and other senior executives will have the pleasure of meeting you in person shortly to get to know you, to discuss with you and prepare together your future.”

Activision purchased its independence from Vivendi in 2013 after Bobby Kotick led an MBO. Vivendi sold its remaining stake in the publisher earlier this year.

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