Electronic Arts sells its stake in Ubisoft
Publisher ditches every share in French company; acquisition speculation laid to rest.
Six years ago Electronic Arts bought a near 20 percent stake in Ubisoft in what was deemed a "hostile" move. In 2007, EA's operating stake in the French publisher increased, but today, the company unloaded every share it once owned and laid long-running acquisition thoughts to rest.
EA confirmed for GameSpot today that it sold its entire stake in Ubisoft, a roughly 15 percent portion of the company. According to the Wall Street Journal, EA had been the French publisher's largest shareholder.
"EA has elected to sell its interest in Ubisoft Entertainment. Our strategic priorities have changed since our initial investment. More recently, the Ubisoft position has been viewed as a portfolio holding, rather than a strategic holding," the publisher said via statement. "Today, EA is the world's foremost publisher of packaged goods games. We remain focused on growing our capability as a developer and distributor of online content and services. We maintain the highest respect for Ubisoft's s creative leaders and the management team that runs their business."
A Ubisoft spokesperson speaking with the WSJ could not provide specifics as to when the deal was done or how much the stock was valued at but was upbeat about the transaction.
"This is good news for Ubisoft, which regains its independence, although Electronic Arts has always supported our strategy," the Ubisoft spokesperson told Dow Jones Newswires.
Bloomberg Businessweek cited two people familiar with the matter, claiming the 15 percent stake equaled 94 million Euros ($122 million).