Guillemot Family Increases Stake in Ubisoft to Prevent Vivendi Takeover

We’ve learned (via Reuters) the ongoing battle for majority control of Ubisoft has taken an interesting turn.

The Guillemot family, founders of Ubisoft, have long since been fighting to retain majority control of the now multi-continental Ubisoft company. Now they’ve upped their sake in the company in a direct bid to fight off a hostile takeover.

A filing in the AMF stock market notes the family raised its stake in Ubisoft to 13.6 percent of the company’s share capital, and 20.02 percent of the company’s voting rights.

French multi-national media company Vivendi has been obtaining more stake in the company, to which the Guillemot family has continually refused a takeover. Vivendi currently owns 27% of the company’s share capital and 24.5% of its voting rights.

A previous report had rumors swirling around Vivendi finally sealing the deal, acquiring majority control of the company over the Guillemot family. It seems like that still isn’t happening, coming from this new report.

We’ll keep you guys posted.

Brandon Orselli

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Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.

  • DrearierSpider

    Oh no, think of all those unique and original games we’ll lose out on. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/421f4e75775705658aa482e959a936392a446aa1c6fa7cefd7d0b1cac4266c3e.jpg

  • Madbrainbox

    I hope this won’t happen.Yes,Ubisoft released basically the same thing over and over again but with everything they announced recently there is hope for them IMO.I just hope Skull & Bones will turn out at least as good as the naval portion of AC4.

  • Deathtone

    That’s why you should only allow people within the company to buy stock. You’re just asking for trouble.

  • Donwel

    I feel sort of conflicted about this. I can’t decide which one is the lesser of two evils as both companies are near the bottom of the fucking barrel.

  • If Vivendi takes over Ubisoft, what could we expect to happen?

  • Uncle Ocelot

    I might’ve cared if they still bothered to make Rayman games.

  • OSad

    Ubisoft wouldn’t have nearly enough shareholders to keep itself above water if that was the case, it’s too big a company now with many offices around the world, and remember that not everyone within the company can buy stocks in their own company in the first place due to insider information. That’s why Ubisoft is seeking external support from Canadian investors in the first place.

  • Uncle Ocelot

    Vivendi are supposedly pretty shitty, but Ubisoft is no angel either, so there probably won’t be much change honestly.

  • OSad

    It’s not very clear based on Vivendi’s rap sheet. All we know from their dealings with the video game industry so far is that they owned Blizzard at some point, which then bought their own majority back. Vivendi then sold a bunch of mobile companies and ISP’s and its new CEO announced a plan to get on track to be more media-focused.

    That’s when they started moving onto Ubisoft and their mobile-phone subsidiary, Gameloft, which was also owned by a member of the Guillemot family at the time. Vivendi now owns Gameloft and they’re leaning on Ubisoft to get their stuff.

    My most likely guess is: Vivendi sees the potential and cheap development costs in the mobile market (hence why they’re trying to buy both Gameloft *and* Ubisoft), and they want the most reliable tool for the job in the French market. The Guillemots don’t see eye to eye with that at all since their franchises are still on consoles and PC almost exclusively, and any attempts to integrate gameplay elements with a mobile device has failed (think asscreed origins and the stupid phone chests) making them backtrack hard from that idea. Ubisoft has also already tried their hands at TV shows aimed for kids, which could be an interesting prospect for a conglomerate looking to emphasize media production for its future.

    Vivendi buys Ubisoft, then you have a gradual shift from console and PC games to mobile games. Rabbids on Mobile Land. Assassin’s Creed: Furious Avian. Rayman: Unbound, stuff like that. TV shows of those series as well. BGaE2 might be the very last big-budget game they ever put out. They eventually stops making press conferences because the focus on games is no longer there. They eventually get assimilated onto the Vivendi Unicrom, the company shuts down, Vivendi keeps all the IP’s and Ubisoft ceases to exist entirely. It may not happen immediately, but within a decade of purchase, I think it’s very likely.

    You can see how that would upset Yves Guillemot. Say what you will about Ubisoft, but it did start as an earnest family business that just wanted more people to play games, just like CD Projekt Red once did, and the same guy who was at the bottom at the time is the same one who’s at the top now, so this probably means a lot personally to him.

  • sAy_YaS

    Out of curiosity: If another company bought out Ubisoft could there be a good chance they shut down Uplay?

  • Sebastian Mikulec

    I mean, I have no love for Ubisoft, but Vivendi is an even greater evil.

  • Can’t say I’m sad to see Ubisoft circling the drain.

  • So basically, Ubisoft is a slightly better cancer than Vivendi.

  • ProxyDoug

    A little more than 10 years ago, Ubisoft bought the studio my current teachers worked on, Sotuhlogic.
    Southlogic was specialized in making 3D games and the only Brazilian company to ever release games on the PS2 and Xbox. Ubi not only took their concepts and gave it to another studio to work on, but they also charged them with developing 2D games only that were actually conceptualized by said studio. That caused Southlogic to either have to train several employees or fire them. Two years later Ubi killed not only Southlogic but this studio who they changed the projects with, which set the industry in Brazil years back.
    Yeah, I feel sorry to see an entrepreneurship end like this, but I don’t know if I can feel sorry for Ubisoft.
    They make bad decisions, the most glaring example of this is having a deal with Nintendo and making a crossover with the Rabbids while an IP like Rayman gathers dust in a corner. If Ubisoft was a character, it would fit the trope of Too Dumb To Live, so I can only applaud the fact that they got so far.

  • Travis Touchdown

    The Rabbids game is unironically the only halfway good looking thing they’ve been involved with since Rayman Legends.