Ubisoft Finally Blocks Vivendi's Acquisition Attempt for Good

The Ubisoft vs Vivendi saga has finally come to its final episode. The French publisher held fast and Vincent Bollore's army appears to be in full retreat.

March 20, 2018

Vivendi’s repeated attempts to acquire Ubisoft have turned into a long saga. with the French publisher doing everything in its power to ward off the unwanted courtship by the multinational led by billionaire Vincent Bollore.

Today, we learn from a press release that the saga has come to a conclusion, and Vivendi is on its way out.

As part of an agreement reached by the two companies, Vivendi will completely exit Ubisoft’s share capital, by selling its entire 27.3% stake in the publisher’s stock.

Two new long-term investors, Tencent and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan will purchase respectively 5.0% and 3.4% of the share capital. Those stakes don’t grant any representation on the publisher’s board of directors, and Tencent pledged not to transfer his shares and not attempt to increase its share ownership and voting rights.

Ubisoft itself will buy back 8.1% of its share capital, while the Guillemot brothers will acquire another 2.7%. The remainder of Vivendi’s stake, which is 8.0% of the capital, will be sold to institutional investors.

Chief Executive Officer Yves Guillemot accompanied the press release with a statement.

The evolution in our shareholding is great news for Ubisoft. It was made possible thanks to the outstanding execution of our strategy and the decisive support of Ubisoft talents, players, and shareholders. I would like to warmly thank them all. The investment from new long-term shareholders in Ubisoft demonstrates their trust in our future value creation potential, and Ubisoft’s share buy-back will be accretive to all shareholders. Finally, the new strategic partnership agreement we signed will enable Ubisoft to accelerate its development in China in the coming years and fully leverage a market with great potential.”

“Today, Ubisoft is fully reaping the benefits of our long-term strategy and the successful transformation towards a more recurring and profitable business. Ubisoft is perfectly positioned to capture the numerous video game growth drivers in the coming years. We are focused more than ever on delivering on our strategic plan.”

As Guillemot mentioned, the partnership with Tencent also aims to “significantly accelerate the reach of Ubisoft franchises in China in the coming years.”


Giuseppe Nelva

Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.

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