[Update] Vivendi's Acquisition Of Ubisoft Stalls As The Company Seeks No Shareholder Seats

by Javy Gwaltney on Sep 29, 2016 at 11:27 AM

Update: Ubisoft has released a statement about the shareholder's meeting:

Today during our Annual General Meeting, Ubisoft shareholders expressed massive support for Ubisoft’s strategy and management. We remain focused on the execution of our strategic roadmap, which has already proven successful and which we are confident will continue to deliver great results and value for all of Ubisoft’s stakeholders. We’re also very happy to welcome two new independent directors, Frederique Dame and Florence Naviner, who will bring their expertise and know-how to Ubisoft’s Board.

Original Story (September 29 at 11:35 a.m. Central):

For the past year, media conglomerate Vivendi has been making moves to take over several companies in the game industry. The first was Gameloft, which Vivendi managed to take over by securing 95 percent of the company's voting rights via stock purchases. Ubisoft has been under Vivendi's crosshairs for a while, with Vivendi making moves to purchase more of the publisher's stocks in a bid for power.

Today, Ubisoft held its annual shareholders meeting. Vivendi did not seek a seat on the shareholders board and the two independent board members that Ubisoft nominated in JulyFrederique Dame and Florence Naviner, were approved.

Though an acquisition has been staved off for the moment, Ubisoft is not in the clear from a hostile takeover yet. The company's CEO Yves Guillemot told The Wall Street Journal in an interview that "We won't relax until they sell their shares...The creeping control strategy implemented by Vivendi is dangerous. We think that there’s a great risk of shareholders losing value."

You can read a breakdown of the entire Vivendi/Ubisoft saga and what it means for the game industry here.


Our Take
This has been a long standoff between Vivendi and Ubisoft, and it doesn't look like it's going to end anytime soon as the company's lack of a shareholder seat means that a hostile takeover might be the only card Vivendi has left to play if it wants to control the publisher.