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Vivendi holding off on Ubisoft takeover plans for six months

Vivendi holding off on Ubisoft takeover plans for six months

November 16, 2017 | By Alissa McAloon




Vivendi has had Ubisoft in its sights for some time now, but the French conglomerate says it won't be proceeding with its plans to acquire control of Ubisoft for a period of at least six months.

According to a report detailing the company's third-quarter financials, Vivendi has no plans to pick up more Ubisoft shares and tip its ownership of the company over the 30 percent threshold during the next six months. 

According to French accounting law, picking up a 30 percent stake in the company would require Vivendi to make a bid for a hostile takeover of Ubisoft, something the game developer has been vehemently against since Vivendi first started scooping up stock in the company.

Currently, Vivendi owns roughly 26 percent of Ubisoft but the developer was concerned that the French conglomerate would use the double voting rights granted this month by a shareholder provision to increase its ownership in the company and move closer to a takeover.

Vivendi's press release says that the company "does not intend to file a public tender offer" for additional shares and likewise won't use its double voting rights on November 23 to surpass 30 percent ownership.

The company notes that its currently unrealized capital gain on its Ubisoft investment overall currently sits at over €1 billion (~$1.17 billion) as well. As of two months back, Vivendi COO Stephane Roussel reportedly said that the company had yet to decide if attempting the takeover or selling off its Ubisoft stock would be the better move.

Vivendi also said it is dropping its request for a seat on Ubisoft's board after pushback and flat rejection from Ubisoft management months back.

Ubisoft, meanwhile, says it has "taken note" of Vivendi's recently stated intent to hold off on takeover talk, issuing the following statement to Gamasutra:

“Ubisoft takes note of Vivendi’s statement. We will remain vigilant about their long-term intentions and will continue to pursue our strategy of growth and value creation in the interest of all our shareholders.”



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