Vivendi Raises Gameloft Bid for the Second Time

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Vivendi Raises Gameloft Bid for the Second Time
French media group Vivendi raised its unsolicited bid for mobile video games maker Gameloft for the second time on Thursday, adding pressure on the founding Guillemot family.

Vivendi, led by billionaire Vincent Bollore, increased its tender offer to EUR 8 a share from EUR 7.20 previously, it said in statement. This values Gameloft at about EUR 680 million ($761.8 million), compared to 610 million previously.

Vivendi has acquired 29.37 percent of Gameloft's shares and 26.47 percent of its voting rights so far, it said. It launched its bid in February and has simultaneously built up a 17.7 percent stake in Ubisoft, Gameloft's bigger sister company.

Both moves are considered hostile by Guillemot family, which founded the two companies and control their respective boards.

Vivendi, which has refocused its business around Universal Music Group and pay-TV business Canal+ Group, wants to re-enter the video games business to boost its position in the content and media sector, having disposed of Activision Blizzard in 2013 to reduce its debt pile.

Gameloft lost an appeal to suspend Vivendi's tender offer earlier this month, French markets regulator AMF said, setting May 27 as the deadline for a bid.

The video game maker had filed a request to suspend the bid so that a separate complaint related to the takeover offer by Vivendi could be examined. That second legal procedure is still ongoing.

Trading in Gameloft was previously suspended on Thursday following a request from AMF. It will resume on Friday, it said.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

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