In a statement on Vivendi Universal's profits for fiscal year 2004, CEO Jean-Rene Fourtou announced that after the last two years spent concentrating on reducing debt and selling off unprofitable divisions, the company would seek to grow again in several areas, including videogames. The company already owns World Of WarCraft
creators Blizzard, as well as publishing games through its VU Games and Sierra Entertainment labels.
Fourtou's statement that Vivendi is re-entering "development" mode also noted that the large French conglomerate was considering buyouts or takeovers of video game development companies, in an effort to focus on "complementary" acquisitions.
Fourtou offered no further indication of Vivendi's plans in the videogame arena beyond that, so it's uncertain which companies he intends to consider for takeover, and how large or small they might be. One possibility is that Fourtou was referring to Ubisoft, which was recently reported as being in talks with Vivendi
to stave off what Ubisoft sees as a hostile bid from Electronic Arts.
As for Vivendi's profits in the 2004 fiscal year, the company did sufficiently well as to pay its shareholders a dividend for the first time in three years; the company posted a profit of 1.86 billion euros ($2.48 billion USD) as opposed to its 2003 yearly loss of 642 million euros ($856.81 million USD).