For the last couple of years Ubisoft has been the subject of an apparent attempted hostile takeover. Vivendi was buying up Ubisoft stock all over the place, reaching levels where they were very close to owning a majority stake in the company. This is an old tactic of theirs, and many in the industry feared there was little that Ubisoft could do to stop it. Somehow they have though, announcing today that an agreement has been reached that has Vivendi selling off their entire 27.3% stake in the company.
“The evolution in our shareholding is great news for Ubisoft,” said Ubisoft CEO and co-founder Yves Guillemot. “It was made possible thanks to the outstanding execution of our strategy and the decisive support of Ubisoft talents, players and shareholders. I would like to warmly thank them all. The investment from new long-term shareholders in Ubisoft demonstrates their trust in our future value creation potential, and Ubisoft’s share buy-back will be accretive to all shareholders. Finally, the new strategic partnership agreement we signed will enable Ubisoft to accelerate its development in China in the coming years and fully leverage a market with great potential.”
Ubisoft hasn’t been a fan darling over the last few years, but they have made some recent steps that have been widely praised by gamers and industry analysts alike. The Division, For Honor, and Rainbow Six: Siege launched in some rough shape and lost a large part of their launch audience. Through strong updates and a focus on retaining and gaining players over the long term these titles have grown by leaps and bounds. This was part of Ubisoft’s success over the last couple of years that helped fight off this hostile takeover.