Ubisoft co-founder and CEO Yves Guillemot is said to be trying to prevent other parties from taking over the game company.
About two weeks ago, reports emerged that there were many private equity firms interested in acquiring Ubisoft. Ubisoft was described at the time as having not entered into serious negotiations with the companies, nor was the takeover plan approved in the first place. However, a new report indicates that Ubisoft and chief executive officer Yves Guillemot are taking reports very seriously. Guillemot is now said to be considering a private equity partnership to buy out Ubisoft in its entirety for the Guillemot clan.
The report comes from Dealreporter, which explains the Guillemot clan’s tentative plan to stave off corporate acquisitions by partnering with a private equity firm. The name of the private equity firm with which the Guillemot clan will work is not mentioned, however efforts will be made so that the Guillemot clan can ensure they retain control of Ubisoft in the future.
As of now, the Guillemot family currently holds nearly 16% of the company’s shares, the most of any faction. Low stakes have made Ubisoft vulnerable to hostile takeovers in the past. The decision to partner with a Ubisoft-backed private equity firm will strengthen the Guillemot clan’s ability to fend off takeover attempts if not ensure immediate control over the company. . This is said to be an attempt by the Guillemot family to maintain Ubisoft’s “reign”.
While the details of the report regarding the Guillemot clan’s attempt to retain control of Ubisoft have yet to be officially confirmed, that hasn’t stopped the market from reacting. Ubisoft’s stock value has increased by nearly 10% since the news was announced. Shares of Ubisoft have risen from about $9.11 to $9.84 since reports of efforts to protect Ubisoft from acquisitions were shared online. Needless to say, there is a lot of concern surrounding the future of Ubisoft’s ownership.
This is not the first time Ubisoft and the Guillemot clan have had to stop taking over. Ubisoft faced a hostile takeover from Vivendi in the years leading up to 2018, as the company slowly bought up a significant amount of stock. In the end, Vivendi came to an agreement to sell its entire ownership of Ubisoft to the publisher itself, even the company received investment from other sources including Tencent to make the deal.
What happens next for Ubisoft remains unclear. As noted, acquisition efforts by outside private equity firms are reported to be tentative, meaning no further action is likely. The Guillemot family’s reaction may or may not change depending on the situation. Even so, with news of acquisitions rolling out every month, Ubisoft seems like one of the few game companies working to avoid a future controlled by another.
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