Ubisoft CEO on Purchase Rumors: “We Have Everything We Need to Remain Independent”

Address rumors that private equity firms may be wants to acquire French publisher UbisoftCEO Yves Guillemot said during today’s holiday investors that the company has “everything we need to remain independent.”

Metaphorical sharks are circling, according to the previous report, largely because of Ubisoft’s deflated share price – it’s currently trading at €41.61, less than half its value in early 2021 – and perhaps a certain FOMO driven by recent large movements of Microsoft, Sony, Take twoand hugger. But Guillemot made it clear in his opening remarks that he is not interested in selling out.

“There’s been a lot of talk about consolidation in the industry, and Ubisoft in particular,” said Guillemot. “Our overall position is clear and well known: as we said last February, we have everything we need to remain independent. We have the talent, industrial and financial scale and a large portfolio of powerful IPs to create massive market value for years to come. “

The upside of speculation, Guillemot said, is that it “is bringing into view the real appeal and value of our assets and our value-creation potential.”

Guillemot’s comments echo remarks he made in February, when the possibility of a buyout was raised during the company’s third-quarter investor conference call. He also repeated his commitment to consider any offer, although he was a little clearer that it is primarily because the company is legally obligated to do so: “I mentioned before, as a publicly traded company, it is standard practice for our board to review any offer in the interest of all shareholders and our creative teams,” he said.

It’s all hypothetical at this point, but it won’t be Ubisoft’s first takeover dispute if it comes to this: the publisher spent most of 2016 pushing a hostile takeover by Vivendi which at one point seemed very likely to succeed. Resistance to a takeover isn’t entirely a mystery: Ubisoft was founded in 1986 by the Guillemot family – Yves, the CEO, and his brothers Christian, Claude, Gerard and Michel – and, while now a publicly traded company, they still hold 22.3% of net voting shares.

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