Ubisoft has announced that they’ve reached a deal with an “investment services provider”. As a result, they’ll be able to buy back up to 4 million shares by the end of the year. This means that no one else will be able to purchase those shares.
Vivendi has been steadily increasing its control over Ubisoft’s shares since 2015. The company now owns over 27% of the shares which may sound like a lot but it gets worse for Ubisoft. French law states that at 30% Vivendi will have a controlling stake in the company. For those who don’t understand what’s happening, Vivendi is attempting to takeover Ubisoft to gain control over the company. It’s debatable among gamers whether or not this would be a good thing but Vivendi’s track record certainly suggests it could be the end of Ubisoft.
In a statement posted today, Ubisoft confirms that they will be purchasing back their own shares. In an attempt to stop Vivendi from achieving their takeover goals. However, this does mean that Vivendi’s percentage of owned shares will increase overall as there will be less outstanding shares.
Ubisoft had a Combined General Meeting for Ubisoft shareholders last month where “shareholders expressed their overwhelming support for Ubisoft’s management and strategy”. However, the meeting had some bad news. The “Extraordinary resolution 31” was denied. This would have enabled them to give free shared to employees and Ubisoft blamed Vivendi for this as the company abstained from the vote so it did not pass. However, the company is currently looking into other ways to attack developers as they believe a share-based compensation scheme would help attract and retain industry talent.
Things certainly seem to be getting a bit tight for Ubisoft now but the company is hard at work trying to fight off Vivendi while also producing more great games. Let’s hope the future is a positive one for the company.
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