Vivendi has been trying to claim increasingly sizable stakes in Ubisoft over the past months, and this definitely does not please the current administration: President and CEO Yves Guillemot denounced Vivendi’s aggressive tactics during the latest quarterly financial conference call, that was wrapped up a few minutes ago.
“Before diving into H1 results, I would like to make a quick comment on a very important annual general meeting which took place at the end of the quarter. As you’re well aware, Vivendi claims that their stake in Ubisoft deserves board representation. We have always strongly opposed that claim, on the basis that the many conflicts of interest and their creeping control approach would be negative for our company, our employees and our shareholders.
To make it short, our shareholders vastly demonstrated that they supported our strategy and our position on this matter. This prevented Vivendi from presenting any resolution.
At the same time, Vivendi maintained their aggressive approach, by abstaining on all resolutions. This way, they made sure that some extraordinary resolutions that require two thirds approbation, notably the one supporting share grants for employees, did not pass.
Excluding Vivendi, the approval rate from our shareholders for those resolutions was close to or well above 80%, meaning they would have passed easily. This was a calculated act of disruption, and another confirmation that Vivendi’s intentions do not align with our employees’ and our shareholders’ benefits.
We believe our best defense has been, is and will be the great shareholder value we create over the years, and the demonstration that we do continue to deliver on our strategy. We do not take the support of our shareholders for granted, and we know this trust has to be earned month after month, year after year.
As such, we’re fully focused on delivering continued outperformance over the coming years.”
We’ll have to stand-by and see how the situation will evolve, and if Ubisoft will manage to resist to the mass media conglomerate’s pressure over the next few months.