Ubisoft Buys Back More Shares Amid Takeover Concerns
Ubisoft picks up 3.6 million shares previously held by a bank.
With the possibility of a hostile takeover by Vivendi looming, Ubisoft recently announced that it is buying back a number of shares of the company from the Bpifrance bank.
Ubisoft is buying the 3,625,178 Ubisoft shares held by Bpifrance, which represents a 3.2 percent stake in the company overall. The publisher is paying €33.80 ($38) per share for a total amount of €122.5 million ($137.9 million). The deal is expected to close by the start of November 2016 and is part of the company's share buyback program, it said.
"We want to express our warm gratitude to Bpifrance for its support during all these years," Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said in a news release.
The buyback (via VentureBeat) comes as French media conglomerate Vivendi continues its push towards a possible takeover of Ubisoft. Having already acquired Gameloft, which was founded by the Guillemot family, there is the possibility that Ubisoft could be next.
Ubisoft has said Vivendi's actions are "unsolicited and unwelcome." The last we heard, Vivendi held a 20.1 percent stake in Ubisoft and was considering buying up even more shares.
GameSpot recently spoke with Guillemot about Vivendi's action and the important of remaining independent.
"Creativity, agility, and risk-taking is intrinsic to our industry," he said. "If you are independent, you know the level you can go to, but if you're part of a conglomerate that doesn't understand what your industry is, how fast it's moving, or the decisions you have to make at speed, they can limit your possibilities. Then, automatically, you don't create new experiences that are coming out of nowhere. Sometimes when you take risks, it doesn't work and you have to cancel a project because you thought the business was going in one direction, but it didn't.
"When the management allows that, you aren't blamed for not succeeding, your management says, 'OK, we learned this and that, and we can use that on this new opportunity.' When you're in an organization that's less risk-taking, you don't do that. And then when you don't take risks, you don't get rewards. Yes, companies merging is normally not a problem, but in our industry, which is changing a lot of time, it's actually risky."
2016 is Ubisoft's 30th anniversary. To celebrate the milestone, Ubisoft put out a nice video featuring top creators talking about some important milestones in the company's career such as the release of Assassin's Creed. Ubisoft also launched a website called We Love Ubisoft.
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