Vidéo : Vincent Bolloré to buy Ubisoft and Gameloft?
Vivendi SA is re-entering the videogame business, splashing out €160 million ($183 million) to buy stakes in French game publishers Ubisoft Entertainment SA and Gameloft SE.
The French media company said late Wednesday that it has spent €140.3 million to buy a 6.6% stake in Ubisoft and another €19.7 million to buy 6.2% of Gameloft.
The purchases are the latest indication of Vivendi Chairman Vincent Bolloré's strategy after taking control of the group last year. While a wave of asset sales in recent years left Vivendi with a roughly €9 billion war chest, Mr. Bolloré has so far made only relatively small purchases, such as buying French online-video firm Dailymotion or building a minority stake in Italian telecommunications company Telecom Italia.
The purchase of stakes in two videogame companies marks a contrast with Vivendi's exit two years ago from its controlling stake in U.S.-based videogame giant Activision Blizzard Inc. At the time, Vivendi was under pressure to sell off assets to boost a sagging share price.
Ubisoft is one of the largest videogame makers in the world, known for franchises like Assassin's Creed. Gameloft is a smaller firm that has seen success by making games for mobile phones. Both companies are based in the Paris area.