Ubisoft Could Partner with a Private Equity Firm to Block Potential Takeover Bids

With major studios and publishers getting snapped up by larger companies, Ubisoft – which has experience with fending off takeovers – might be looking to avoid the same fate.

Posted By | On 05th, May. 2022

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Major acquisitions have been dominating headlines over the last couple of years, with Microsoft having picked up Bethesda and on being on the verge of completion the acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Meanwhile, Sony acquired Bungie earlier this year, while more recently, Square Enix confirmed that it’s selling off all of its North American studios and their IPs to the Embracer Group.

Clearly, we’re in a time where it feels like almost every major publisher and developer in this industry is an acquisition target for someone, and with Ubisoft having been struggling on multiple fronts (just as Activision has been), many have wondered whether the Assassin’s Creed publisher will be the next to get picked up.

However, it seems Ubisoft is well aware of that possibility, and is taking steps to prevent just that. A report recently published by Dealreporter (via VGC) claims that Ubisoft could be exploring the possibility of partnering with a private equity firm in order to block any such potential deals in the future. Currently, the Guillemot family – who founded and run Ubisoft – currently holds 15.9% of the company’s shares, and 22.3% of its voting shares.

In partnering with a private equity firm, the Guillemot family is hoping to amass enough funds to be enable a complete takeover of the company, thus preventing a future acquisition by a third party. Ubisoft does, of course, have some experience with fending off hostile takeovers, as French company Vivendi will remember all too well.

Interestingly, earlier this year, shortly after Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision was announced, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said that though the company could comfortably remain independent, if acquisition offers were to come in, they would be reviewed and considered rather than instantly batted away. Read more on that through here.

Meanwhile, recent reports have claimed that Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is looking to sell the studios under its WB Games manner, while also licensing out its properties to other developers. Industry analyst Michael Pachter believes that it would be the smart move for Sony to pick up what’s on sale. Read more on that through here.


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