One of the largest video game studios in the industry is currently looking to outside investors to help stave off a potential hostile takeover. Ubisoft has been turning to independent Canadian investors to help keep rival media company Vivendi at bay.
Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot will be meeting with investors this week in Toronto and Montreal to seek support.
“Our intention is and has always been to remain independent, a value which, for 30 years, has allowed us to innovate, take risks, create beloved franchises for players around the world, and which has helped the company grow into the leader it is today,” Guillemot told Gamesindustry.biz last year, after Vivendi purchased a 15 percent stake in Ubisoft.
Guillemot may be correct to be worried; there’s precedent for previous Vivendi takeovers of Canadian game companies, most recently its takeover of Gameloft.
Ubisoft has been around for more than 30 years. According to the Globe & Mail, the stakes are high for more than just Guillemot – some 3,000 jobs created by Ubisoft’s Canadian locations may be at stake.
Gamesindustry.biz also noted that Guillemot and his brothers, with whom he cofounded Ubisoft, currently only hold a 9 percent stake in the company, though they hold 16 percent of the voting rights. With the additional support of backers Blackrock and Fidelity, Guillemot effectively holds sway over 30 percent of the company’s voting rights, though he indicated that that’s still shy of his goal:
“We want to increase the number of Canadian shareholders in Ubisoft to have better control over the capital,” Guillemot told Gamesindustry.biz, indicating he’d feel much more comfortable with control over 50 percent of the voting rights. “We feel it’s a good defence.”