Ubisoft Founders Buy Stock To Keep Vivendi Takeover At Bay

The Guillemot family is fighting back against a possible Vivendi takeover Ubisoft

Ubisoft is still fighting to remain independent from French media conglomerate Vivendi. As reported by Reuters, Ubisoft founding family the Guillemots have bought more shares in Ubisoft and thereby acquired more voting power for the company.

In case you haven’t heard, Vivendi has been buying up stock in Ubisoft in an attempt to gain majority control of the company. This would effectively allow Ubisoft to be wholly owned by Vivendi. This makes the move a hostile takeover, as Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot does not want to give up the company.

According to Reuters, the Guillemot family now controls 13.6 percent of Ubisoft’s share capital, which gives the family 20.02 percent of the company’s voting rights. Vivendi, by comparison, holds 27 percent of Ubisoft’s share capital and has 24.5 percent of the voting rights.

Despite the strong control of shares in Ubisoft, Vivendi has not yet managed to get a member onto Ubisoft’s board of directors. “We won an important battle for the company,” Yves Guillemot said to reporters at an event in September 2016. “There has been massive support from other shareholders of the company.”

Buying more stock in Ubisoft is also something that’s easier said than done. While the stock price has seen a slight dip from earlier in the week, overall, the price has risen by around 50 percent since the start of the year. This was likely helped by a strong E3 showing, with positive reception for Far Cry 5, South Park: Fractured But Whole and the long-awaited re-reveal of Beyond Good And Evil 2.

The Guillemots do have a reason to be afraid of Vivendi. The company has already usurped Gameloft, a developer that at the time was led by Michel Guillemot. Gameloft is now fully owned by Vivendi, and the company has created a new board of directors and put in place a new CEO.

So what do you think? Do you want Ubisoft to continue doing its thing? Do you think Vivendi will eventually buy up enough voting power to complete the takeover? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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