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Guillemot Family Raises Stake in Ubisoft to Ward Off Vivendi

by Jennifer Locke

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In the midst of what some believe may be a hostile takeover attempt by Vivendi, Ubisoft’s founding family has raised their stake in the company. The Guillemots have persistently fought back against any such attempt since Vivendi first bought stake in the company two years ago in 2015.

The Guillemot family now holds 13.6% of Ubisoft’s share capital and 20.02% of the company’s voting rights according to a filing from the AMF stock market regulators (via Reuters). Unfortunately, Vivendi has also increasingly raised their stakes, and now holds 27% of Ubisoft’s share capital and 24.5% of voting rights. French law mandates that at 30%, a controlling stake in the company must be pursued.

To defend the company previously, Ubisoft brought on board two new independent directors last summer. Yves Guillemot, Ubisoft’s current CEO and Board of Directors Chairman, feels that the video game developer’s independence will allow for more innovation and risks. Ubisoft, whose shares hit a record high earlier this week, has recently made a strong push to support live-service games.

Vivendi has already taken over French video game company Gameloft, founded by Michel Guillemot. He resigned as CEO on June 29, 2016 and the family sold their stake to Vivendi, giving the conglomerate almost complete ownership and control.

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