Will Vivendi Make The Best Use Of Its Incoming Tsunami Of Cash?
Stephen Simpson, CFA
Stephen Simpson, CFA
Wed, Jun. 1, 11:22 AM
- Gameloft (OTCPK:GLOFY) founder and Chairman/CEO Michel Guillemot expects to resign after shareholders have backed a hostile bid for the company by Vivendi (OTCPK:VIVHY +0.1%), Bloomberg reports.
- France's market regulator today confirmed reports from yesterday that Vivendi had the votes to control the French game maker.
- Vivendi controls about 56% of votes and plans to appoint a majority slate at the June 29 annual meeting.
- Guillemot and his family now turn their attention to defending their other company, the bigger Ubisoft (OTCPK:UBSFY), also the likely target of a takeover by Vivendi. The Guillemots control 15% of votes there, while Vivendi owns about 18% of capital.
- Previously: Ubisoft threatens talent drain as Vivendi takeover defense (Mar. 23 2016)
Tue, May 31, 12:22 PM
- Vivendi (OTCPK:VIVHY -0.5%) now has the votes to take over Gameloft (OTCPK:GLOFY) after its unwelcome pursuit of the game maker, according to Les Echos.
- It was the acquisition of Amber Capital's roughly 30% stake earlier this month that made the difference, the paper says. Detailed figures aren't certain but it's expected that Vivendi has a 50%-plus voting stake now.
- Vivendi had accumulated around 15% of Gameloft and Ubisoft (OTCPK:UBSFY +2.2%), each controlled by the Guillemot family, through gradual purchases. It's unclear how much of Gameloft the Guillemots still control.
Fri, May 20, 9:27 AM
- Vivendi (OTCPK:VIVHY) is another step closer to control of French videogame maker Gameloft (OTCPK:GLOFY) as hedge fund Amber Capital agreed to tender its stake, which would give Vivendi a powerful position.
- Vivendi raised its hostile bid price yesterday by way of a share purchase, to €8/share. After coming off its all-day halt yesterday in Paris, Gameloft shares are up 11.1% there today, to €7.98.
- The media giant held about 29.4% of Gameloft, but Amber's stake could bring it to 44%, twice more than the Guillemot family that founded and runs Gameloft.
- The €8/share offer values Gameloft around €680M, up from the previous valuation of €610M.
- Vivendi shares are up 0.8% in Paris.
- Now read UbiSoft Faces The Risk Of Takeover From Vivendi »
Thu, May 19, 1:49 PM
- Vivendi (OTCPK:VIVHY -1%) is increasing pressure on a videogame target by raising its hostile bid for Gameloft (OTCPK:GLOFY +3.7%) by 11%, to €8/share.
- The bid was automatically raised under French regulations when the media giant bought a bit of stock at that higher price compared to its €7.2/share bid. Gameloft shares were suspended for the day in Paris, where they were down 0.7% to €7.18.
- The offer is set to expire in eight days, and Gameloft is planning a board meeting to evaluate it.
- After a buildup, Vivendi holds 29.4% of Gameloft (and 26.5% of voting power). And its pursuit of one company may help another bid: Vivendi is also pursuing Ubisoft (OTCPK:UBSFY), controlled as Gameloft is by the Guillemot family.
- Now read UbiSoft Faces The Risk Of Takeover From Vivendi »
Tue, May 17, 10:24 AM
- Vincent Bollore -- chairman, CEO and top stockholder at media giant Vivendi (OTCPK:VIVHY +1.2%) -- says he can see a tie-up between that company and ad agency Havas (OTCPK:HAVSF), in which he's also lead shareholder.
- "It's obvious that one day there will be something between Vivendi and Havas," he tells Les Echos.
- Vivendi hasn't been shy about business combinations, asserting its authority at Telecom Italia and considering cutting loose Canal Plus TV channels, as it considers forming a southern European media hub and taking over French game makers Ubisoft and Gameloft.
- Bollore holds about 14% of Vivendi, and about 60% of Paris-based Havas.
- Now read Is The Deal With Vivendi A Positive Sign For Mediaset? »
Thu, Apr. 21, 10:57 AM
- Vivendi (OTCPK:VIVHY -2%) is actively pushing Telecom Italia (TI -0.1%) toward a sale of its Brazilian unit, TIM Participaçoes (TSU +1.8%), sources tell CTFN.
- The French media giant's stance on TIM was a clear catalyst for the March departure of Marco Patuano as TI's chief executive, as Patuano was inclined to hold on to the business.
- A series of machinations over the past year took place around the possible merger of TIM with debt-laden carrier Oi (OIBR -3.5%) before the prospects of a deal imploded.
- An M&A lawyer said that when Vivendi inherited its Telecom Italia stake in 2014 (via its sale of broadband company GVT to Telefonica), it was already expressing an interest in getting out of Brazil and taking charge of TI as a media platform.
- Rivals Telefonica Brasil (VIV -0.2%) and Claro (AMX +1.5%) aren't likely candidates to take over TIM due to regulatory issues. Oi is surely a candidate again, but more desperate for a move than TIM. Brazil might go for a bid from someone like Vodafone (VOD -0.8%), though.
- Now read Oi's Debt Restructuring: A 4-Player Chess Game »
Wed, Mar. 30, 11:07 AM
- The founding Guillemot family may be increasing its stake in game maker Gameloft (OTCPK:GLOFY) in an effort to resist a hostile tender offer from Vivendi (OTCPK:VIVHY +0.8%).
- CEO Michel Guillemot told Le Monde: "We could go on ... We don't have much debt."
- Vivendi has been in pursuit of Gameloft and Ubisoft (OTCPK:UBSFY +3.6%) -- also founded by the Guillemots -- by increasing stakes in the two amid growing speculation that takeover bids were coming.
- Vivendi launched a tender for Gameloft after it crossed the 30% stake threshold. It raised its offer to €7.20/share on Feb. 29; shares are trading in Paris today up 2.6% to €7.52. Vivendi also owns 15.66% of Ubisoft.
Fri, Mar. 11, 9:27 AM
- A marriage between Telecom Italia (NYSE:TI) and Orange (NYSE:ORAN) is a "fantasy," says TI Chairman Giuseppe Recchi in response to chatter that originated with Orange chief Stephane Richard.
- Richard had said this week that he would look at an operation with TI if Vincent Bollore and France's Vivendi (OTCPK:VIVHY), TI's largest shareholder, pressed for it. But Recchi said Richard should take responsibility for floating rumors about a tie-up "that is only in his head and ... is causing effects on the media and on the market."
- The kind of consolidation that makes sense from an industrial standpoint are national, Recchi says; with cross-border, "The only synergies are financial and not industrial."
- Orange is also in exclusive talks today to acquire Lexsi, a European security intel services company, for its Orange Cyberdefense unit.
- Orange shares are up 3.8% premarket; Vivendi is up 0.4% in early trading.
Tue, Mar. 8, 3:41 PM
- Anonymous Content -- the producers of the last two Best Picture Oscar winners, Spotlight and Birdman -- is shopping itself for a sale or major investment and drawing some reported interest from a number of media firms.
- The Wall Street Journal points to several names that might invest at a valuation of $200M for the company: Viacom (VIA, VIAB), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Vivendi (OTCPK:VIVHY) and Endemol Shine (FOX, FOXA, APO).
- Anonymous Content is seeking a buyer with nice market timing for content -- which is drawing increasingly higher prices from a growing pile of stakeholders -- but at a price that amounts to nearly 40 times its annual cash flow of $5M.
- Along with its Oscar chops, the firm's also behind The Revenant (which won an Oscar for star Leonardo DiCaprio) and regarded television series Mr. Robot and True Detective. And it manages hundreds of creatives in the film/TV field.
Mon, Mar. 7, 7:07 PM
- After reports emerging from a key strategy meeting with Vivendi (OTCPK:VIVHY -0.4%) last week, Telecom Italia (TI -3.6%) chief Marco Patuano says he's never been asked to sell the company's Brazilian business.
- "Vivendi wants to sell Brazil" -- TIM Participaçoes (TSU -1.5%), the company's Brazilian unit -- "and Patuano does not," a source told Reuters last week.
- Speaking to Il Soe 24 Ore, Patuano says he never received a request and he continued to believe in the Brazilian operation despite that country's recession.
- On the implosion of a possible merger with Oi, Patuano said the company's stance on roles was far from that of LetterOne's Mikhail Fridman, trying to make a deal happen. TI expected to be the "industrial leader" of a merged group.
- As for tensions with Vivendi, which has assembled a large stake in the telecom and might replace him, Patuano says "Managers always respond with their performance and shareholders are always sovereign."
- Previously: Reuters: Telecom Italia pursuing Metroweb network deal within weeks (Mar. 04 2016)
- Previously: Vivendi, Telecom Italia chief on tense course over strategy alignment (Mar. 04 2016)
Tue, Mar. 1, 9:22 PM
- After a very resistant Gameloft (OTCPK:GLOFY +6.9%) rejected a €6/share buyout bid from Vivendi (OTCPK:VIVHY +1.3%) as too low, Vincent Bollore's media giant has increased its bid.
- After gradual purchases over the past several months, Vivendi raised its stake to more than 30% two weeks ago, and it's now raising its bid to €7.20/share after a unanimous rejection of the previous offer by Gameloft's board.
- The new bid values Gameloft at about €610M (about $663M). After closing yesterday in Paris at €6.79, shares gained 9.4% today to close at €7.43.
- Gameloft has until Thursday to decide on the new bid, though it hasn't signaled it's receptive to being taken over by the conglomerate at all.
- Meanwhile, Vivendi has also increased its stake in another takeover target, Ubisoft (OTCPK:UBSFY +6.1%), to 15.66%. Ubisoft closed up 6.4% today in Paris.
Mon, Feb. 29, 12:15 PM
- Gameloft (OTCPK:GLOFY) -- the French game maker currently the subject of a tender offer from media giant Vivendi (OTCPK:VIVHY +0.9%) -- says the public offer is too low.
- Vivendi's offer of €6/share for 70% of the company is financially insufficent given its intrinsic value and prospects, Gameloft says, and there's no synergies and thus no industrial rationale for the deal.
- Gameloft shares closed down 0.3% to €6.79 in Paris.
- Further, Gameloft -- which had fretted losing its independence as Vivendi built up shares last year -- says the hostile takeover is destabilizing its internal teams, particularly on the creative side. The company says minority shareholders have been wronged by Vivendi.
- Previously: Vivendi in distribution talks with beIN, launches Gameloft tender (Feb. 18 2016)
Mon, Feb. 22, 9:42 AM
- Vivendi (OTCPK:VIVHY) has added yet again to its stake in Telecom Italia (NYSE:TI) -- bumping it to 22.8%, increasing speculation about how the French giant plans to use TI to establish a southern European media arm.
- Vivendi bought shares equivalent to a 1.4% stake last week and may be looking further, to acquiring the pay TV operations of Mediaset (OTCPK:MDIUY), the company controlled by Italy's former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi. Corriere della Sera reported this weekend that price is blocking a deal from Vivendi for Mediaset premium.
- Last summer, Telecom Italia had reached a deal with Mediaset to resell its pay TV content to its own clients
- 13-D/A filing
- Previously: Report: Telecom Italia in deal to resell Mediaset content (Aug. 06 2015)
Fri, Jan. 15, 10:45 AM
- After netting some solid returns, Vivendi (OTCPK:VIVHY -1.1%) has sold out of its remaining 5.7% stake in Activision Blizzard (ATVI -0.7%) for $1.1B.
- In addition to those proceeds, Vivendi gets back a $400M cash deposit for unwinding a hedge it had on that stake. It's the end of a multi-year divestment from when Vivendi bought a majority of Activision in 2008.
- Vivendi pointed to Activision's price gains as motivating the sale, though the move may also point to its ambitions with French developers Ubisoft and Gameloft -- videogame makers that Vivendi took quick stakes in and then said it wouldn't rule out taking over.
- Activision stock nearly doubled in 2015 after starting out that year at $20.13.
- Previously: December videogame sales slightly off as console transition continues (Jan. 14 2016)
- Previously: Activision Blizzard hires Hollywood's Sher to co-lead studio effort (Jan. 13 2016)
Dec. 3, 2015, 2:26 PM
- First Orange needed to clarify that it wasn't seeking to merge with Telecom Italia (TI +1.1%); now Vivendi (OTCPK:VIVHY +0.5%) says it's not planning to pursue a merger with the carrier despite amassing a 20% stake.
- Italy considers Telecom Italia of strategic national interest and has been looking nervously at the stake buildups by Vivendi and its chairman Vincent Bollore, and by Iliad founder Xavier Niel, who built rights to a 15.1% position.
- In its letter, Vivendi says its call for four board seats "does not call into question the work carried out by the current board of directors and its executive members."
- The company does say it shares TI's strategic plan and objectives, "including the development of high speed connections and new technologies in a very competitive market."
- Vivendi's request for board seats will be discussed at a Dec. 15 meeting.
- Previously: Orange: No plans to merge with Telecom Italia (Dec. 02 2015)
- Previously: Telecom Italia shareholders concerned about Vivendi board push (Nov. 20 2015)
Dec. 2, 2015, 10:20 AM
- With Vivendi (OTCPK:VIVHY +0.9%) hanging around and raising its stakes, France's Gameloft (OTCPK:GLOFY) has seen its founding family bumping its own stake to ward off a takeover attempt, the country's financial regulator says.
- Vivendi quickly assembled a 10% stake in Gameloft and then said it couldn't rule out a full takeover. The Guillemot family has boosted its own stake to 16.6% (25.1% of voting rights) and similarly said it didn't plan a takeover but wouldn't rule it out as it defends against a "creeping takeover."
- The family made the statement in a letter to French regulator AMF. Vivendi held 17.34% of Gameloft capital and 15.34% of voting rights as of Nov. 19.
- Previously: Vivendi: We won't rule out takeover of Ubisoft, Gameloft (Oct. 27 2015)
- Previously: Vivendi quickly raises stakes in Ubisoft, Gameloft (Oct. 22 2015)
Vivendi is one of the few multimedia groups in the world to operate across the entire digital value chain. It creates and publishes content for which it develops broadcast networks and distribution platforms.
Industry: Entertainment - Diversified
Other News & PR