Vivendi increases Ubisoft stake, wants position on board

Ben Parfitt
Vivendi increases Ubisoft stake, wants position on board

Despite Ubisoft's protestations, Vivendi has increased its financial interest in the publisher.

Bloomberg reports that Vivendi has added to the 6.6 per cent stake it acquired in Ubisoft last week to 10.4 per cent, and indicated that it could expend it further. It has also upped its Gameloft stake from 6.2 per cent to 10.2 per cent.

These investments are part of a strategic vision of operational convergence between Vivendi's content and platforms on one hand and the Ubisoft and Gameloft productions in video games on the other,” Vivendi stated.

Yesterday Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot described the initial share purchase as unsolicited and unwelcome” and stated that a Vivendi buyout would leave Ubisoft "managed by people who don't understand our expertise and what it takes to succeed in this industry".

It goes without saying that this new share purchase will be even more unwelcome.

Added Guillemot: "Our intention is and has always been to remain independent, a value which, for 30 years, has allowed us to innovate, take risks, create beloved franchises for players around the world, and which has helped the company grow into the leader it is today.

"We're going to fight to preserve our independence. We should not let this situation - nor any future actions by Vivendi or others - distract us from our goals. Our best defence is to stay focused on what we have always done best - deliver the most original and memorable gaming experiences."

In 2010 EA sold its 15 per cent Ubisoft stake after the French company again expressed its wish to remain independent.

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