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Report: Ubisoft, EA Hold Introductory Talks

Report: Ubisoft, EA Hold Introductory Talks

February 16, 2005 | By Simon Carless

February 16, 2005 | By Simon Carless
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According to reports in the Wall Street Journal, game development/publishing giant Electronic Arts and French-headquartered publisher Ubisoft are now holding informal talks, following EA's unexpected purchase of 20% of Ubisoft's shares.

EA's block of shares were purchased from Dutch media tycoon John de Mol, and his investment vehicle Talpa Beheer BV. At the time, Ubisoft CEO and co-founder Yves Guillemot commented of EA's purchase: "I have stated on the record that I view this action on the part of EA as hostile", and further marked of future concerns: "When looking at the longer-term, our only concern is the risk that we may not be allowed to fully realize our vocation of being creators of high quality games."

The Ubisoft CEO also expressed disappointment following the transaction that Electronic Arts had not formally or informally contacted him before making the share purchase, which has sent Ubisoft shares soaring up almost 100% to 32.90 Euros ($42.80) since the late December revelation.

But, according to Reuters, any initial Ubisoft talks with EA are likely "running parallel with other approaches that family-run Ubisoft is making" to possibly help stave off a hostile takeover, meaning that the alleged talks do not necessarily signify a change of tack from Ubisoft management.


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