Shares of Ubisoft jumped 10% on Wednesday following new claims of a possible publisher takeover for Assassin’s Creed.
According to stock news and data service Dealreporter through Seeking Alpha, the company’s Guillemot founding family is considering partnering with a private equity firm to acquire the company. The Guillemot family holds 15.9% of Ubisoft shares and 22.3% of voting shares. The Dealreporter article allegedly stated that Guillemot wanted to retain control of the company’s operations and possibly partnered with a private equity firm to find a major investor to bid on the project.
Bloomberg reported last Friday that the French company behind the Rainbow Six and Far Cry series is attracting takeover interest from a number of private equity firms, including Blackstone Inc. and KKR & Co. “Ubisoft has not entered into any serious negotiations with potential acquirers and it is unclear whether its major shareholder is willing to pursue a deal.” The company, which has delayed a significant number of product launches in recent years and whose reputation has been tarnished by a workplace misconduct scandal, has been the subject of much speculation in recent years. recent months amid a growing consolidation trend in the gaming industry.
M&A activity in the games industry hits a record $85 billion in 2021 and is forecast to reach $150 billion this year, with major deals like Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard and Take-Two’s acquisition of Zynga. announced in 2022. Ubisoft was asked during an earnings call in February if it believes it can secure access to the various game platforms on which it publishes its products during future, if it resists any consolidation happening in the industry. “We will continue to have access to all of those platforms because all platforms need great content,” replied CEO Yves Guillemot. “If we continue to do great content like we are now, we will be able to access all of those platforms.
“If we look at Nintendo, we are their favorite 3rd-Party publisher. Nintendo cares about everything we do and we’re even developing games with their brand, so this partnership is long-lasting and it’s worked out.” The CEO said he believes Ubisoft can remain independent but that any offer to acquire the company will be considered in the interest of stakeholders.