Ubisoft is one of the most established video game companies in the world, and investors have taken notice. One such company is Vivendi, who's taken an interest in the France based publisher.
Vivendi, a multinational French mass media company has rapidly purchased stocks in the company, increasing their ownership from 6 per cent to 15 per cent in 2016. This seemingly forced Ubisoft founder Yves Guillemot’s hand against a hostile takeover in February.
Since then, Vivendi expanded their ownership to roughly 17.73 per cent of capital shares and about 15.66 per cent of voting shares.
Vivendi says the company has no interest in taking control of Ubisoft, nor in submitting a public offer for the outstanding shares. Despite this, Vivendi now has more than 15 per cent of the voting rights as a shareholder. If they continue habitually purchasing Ubisoft stocks, their control will begin to creep in and overtake the company.
Ubisoft offered this comment to the press following Vivendi’s market statement:
We are not at all surprised by this latest statement from Vivendi, nor by the intent behind it.
This is a confirmation of their habitual strategy of creeping control, in which they say they have no intention to take control of Ubisoft while steadily increasing their stake and preparing an offensive at the next Annual Shareholders Meeting.
This strategy of successively announcing conflicting intentions is contrary to good corporate practices and is not in the best interests of Ubisoft’s other shareholders.
Moreover, despite our repeated written requests since they first entered into our capital, Vivendi has never presented any details or convincing plan on how this supposed cooperation would take place.
Ubisoft's management remains committed to preserving the independence of the company, which is the condition for the long-term value creation that will benefit all of our shareholders.