There is a chance that Ubisoft gets out of this unscathed.
Vivendi’s slow, looming takeover of Ubisoft has been a protracted saga, as Ubisoft has fought tooth and nail to prevent a hostile takeover of the company. In the newest round of volleys, Ubisoft’s founding Guillemot family has acquired another 1.75% of the company’s share capital by purchasing slightly more than 2 million shares for an undisclosed price- increasing their total holding in the company to 15.35% (with their voting rights being 20.02%).
In contrast, Vivendi currently owns 27% of the company’s shares, and 24.5% voting rights- so this move was long coming for the Guillemots, too.
“Ubisoft has been informed that Guillemot Brothers SE and a bank have entered today into an agreement related to the purchase by Guillemot Brothers SE of a maximum number of 2,000,016 shares of Ubisoft representing c. 1.75% of the share capital of Ubisoft,” Ubisoft said in a press release.
At this point, Vivendi may end up finding a hostile takeover of Ubisoft to be difficult- its cash holdings have plummeted, and Ubisoft is, of course, making things even harder for them. While acquiring Ubisoft, with its close relationship shared with the three first parties (Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft), as well as lucrative properties, might be well worth it, Vivendi may simply be unable to afford it. I hope that is the case, because more than anything else, I would like for Ubisoft to be able to retain its creative freedom.