In June, TechRaptor reported that the Guillemot family was considering on increasing their stake in Ubisoft. Just under three months later, the Guillemot family has recently reaffirmed their control of Ubisoft by purchasing 4 million shares of the company. This comes in light of the news that Vivendi had acquired a 20.1% stake in July, whereupon they stated that their goal was to “obtain Board representation consistent with its shareholder position.”
The 4 million shares represent an overall stake of 3.5%, which would increase the Guillemot stake to 12.5% from the 9% they held in July 2016.
This isn’t the first time the Guillemot family has tangled with Vivendi. Last October, Vivendi purchased enough stakes so that the Guillemot family sold their shares of Gameloft to Vivendi in a move they described as “against the best interest of Gameloft, both for its activity and for its teams” as they felt forced to due to the circumstances.
According to Bloomberg, the Guillemot family are “boosting their defenses” before Ubisoft’s shareholder meeting on the 29th of September in an effort to keep the company independent. Whilst they have been shoring their metaphorical defenses, the Guillemots have also been asking other shareholders to back their efforts, by promising better returns under their control than through Vivendi's.
“We are seeing a race between Vivendi and Guillemot brothers,” Charles-Louis Planade, head of research at Louis Capital Markets - Midcap Partners, said in an e-mail. “If Vivendi wants Ubisoft, it will have to pay for it.”
Personally, I hope the Guillemot family reconsiders their place in the industry and changes Ubisoft for the better, if they manage to survive this battle with their leadership over Ubisoft intact. For a while now, Ubisoft has released buggy disappointment after buggy disappointment, and if nothing else, hopefully this will force the Guillemot family to try and better Ubisoft's slate going forward. We could definitely use some more variation in the AAA industry, and more games like For Honor would definitely be appreciated.
What do you think of this news? Do you care either way? Let us know in the comments!