Ubisoft worried about possible hostile takeover from Vivendi

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There is trouble happening over at Ubisoft. Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail has reported that the company is currently seeking Canadian investors to fend off a possible hostile takeover by French media giant, Vivendi.

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot and other company officials have met with a dozen potential investors in Montreal and Toronto, including the Quebec Premiere, Philippe Couillard to see if they could get a loan from the government. “We want to increase the number of Canadian shareholders in Ubisoft to have better control over the capital,” said Guillemot. “We feel it’s a good defense.”

“We want to increase the number of Canadian shareholders in Ubisoft to have better control over the capital,” said Guillemot, as he plans to fight to preserve Ubisoft as an independent publisher. He feels this way the company has more “operational agility,” meaning they wouldn’t be forced to take on any Vivendi projects if they forced them to.

It started last year when Vivendi bought a 15% stake that then led to an unsolicited takeover offer of 500 million Euros ($750 million) for Gameloft which is owned by the Guillemot brothers. Vivendi plans on getting back into game publishing and development after unloading its stake in Activision Blizzard and has made it known that they are currently looking to buy more of Ubisoft, in the near future, forcing a hostile takeover which could lead to some disastrous after effects for the company.

The next investors meeting for Ubisoft is in September, where Guillemot needs the support of 50% or more of votes in his favor to prevent Vivendi from making any changes to its current board of directors. Currently the Guillemot brothers own 16 percent of the vote.

Currently Ubisoft has over 3,000 employees at their Montreal, Quebec, Toronto and Halifax studios, along with hundreds of millions in capital invested since the company opened its first studio in Canada in 1997.

It’s confusing why Vivdeni would go the route of an unwanted corporate takeover rather than actual negotiations since it could very well mean that loyal Ubisoft employees could end up leaving if the Guillemot brothers decided to start a new company.

Source: The Globe and Mail

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Chris Del Castillo
Chris Del Castillo 2588 posts

Growing up Chris watched a lot of the original Saturday morning cartoons and developed a love for arts and animation. Growing up he tried his hand at animation and eventually script writing, but even more his love of video games, anime and technology grew.