Videogame giant Ubisoft is seeking the help of Canadian investors to try and fight off a takeover bid by Vivendi. In a report in the Globe and Mail, head of Ubisoft Yves Guillemot was meeting with investors in Montreal and Toronto to try and raise funding to stop Vivendi.
Known for the Assassin's Creed series, Splinter Cell and, most recently Far Cry Primal, Ubisoft has been trying to fend off French firm Vivendi from the takeover bid for a while now. Originally reported back in the fall, Vivendi has been buying up shares of both Ubisoft and Gameloft. Vivendi has been trying to get back in the game space since they lost control of Activision Blizzard in 2013.
Speaking on the matter, Mr. Guillemot said: "We want to increase the number of Canadian shareholders in Ubisoft to have better control over the capital, We feel it’s a good defence."
In a statement from a Ubisoft spokesperson to CGM they elaborated by stating, “As Yves has said, our continued growth as a global video game and entertainment leader depends on our ability to stay agile and creative. We are talking to investors in different regions to drive support for our strategy. We are committed to maximizing shareholder value and want our investors to fully understand our potential.”
Vivendi has already launched a takeover bid of Gameloft, who is fronted by CEO Michel Guillemot, who is Yves Guillemot brother and co-founder of Ubisoft.
The Globe and Mail claims there are more than "3,000 Ubisoft jobs in Montreal, Quebec, Toronto and Halifax and hundreds of millions in capital invested since the company opened its first studio in Canada in 1997."
With many of the major studios of the developer/publisher now located in Canada and most of the work on the tent pole releases being done by at least in part by Ubisoft Montreal, Canada has become an important part of the Ubisoft portfolio. It is hard to say what would happen under Vivendi control, but it could mean a change in the way the studios function or may lead to job losses. We will have more on this story as it develops.