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Ubisoft seeks Canadian investors to fend off takeover by Vivendi

Ubisoft seeks Canadian investors to fend off takeover by Vivendi

February 25, 2016 | By Christian Nutt

“We want to increase the number of Canadian shareholders in Ubisoft to have better control over the capital. ... We feel it’s a good defense.”

- Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot

Ubisoft is actively making plans to fend off a hostile takeover by French conglomerate Vivendi, Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail reports.

The company is courting investment from both the Quebec provincial government and the Canadian national government, the newspaper reports -- as well as many others, up to a dozen -- to keep the company from being absorbed by Vivendi.

Vivendi began to purchase shares in Ubisoft and mobile publisher Gameloft late last year, and quickly upped its stake in both companies. This month, Vivendi was forced by French law to submit a takeover bid to Gameloft after increasing its stake in the firm to over 30 percent. 

After Vivendi's initial buy, however, Guillemot promised to "fight to preserve our independence." He told The Globe and Mail that he hopes to block Vivendi from making changes to the company's board at its next shareholders meeting in September.

Guillemot has met with the premier of Quebec, the newspaper reports; we also knew that he spoke to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today, too -- just not exactly why. It seems extremely likely this takeover attempt was a topic of discussion, as Ubisoft, though based in France, employs over 3,000 in Canada.

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