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Takeover threat looms over Ubisoft

Takeover threat looms over Ubisoft

December 8, 2016 | By Chris Kerr

French media conglomerate Vivendi has upped its stake in Ubisoft yet again, and now owns 25.15 percent of the company and 22.92 percent of its voting rights.

Vivendi has been circling the Assassin's Creed developer since October 2015, and earlier this year completed the hostile takeover of mobile game studio, Gameloft. 

If the media group manages to acquire a 30 percent stake in the studio, it'll be forced by French law to make a mandatory takeover bid and pursue a controlling stake. 

It's a worrying development for Ubisoft founders the Guillemot family, who've repeatedly expressed their desire to retain control of the studio. 

"I love video games because the real innovation and magic comes when our teams and players are free to create. Free to innovate. Free to express themselves. Free to take risks and have fun," said Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot earlier this year. 

"That's what got us here today, and that's what will drive us for another thirty years and beyond. When you are free, there is no failure. There is only forward."

It was a statement of defiance from the Ubisoft chief, who's been making increasingly public rallying cries as the threat of a hostile takeover becomes all the more real.

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