Ubisoft "Not Safe From a Hostile Action"

In the months following Electronic Arts' initial purchase of 20% of Ubisoft's shares, Ubi CEO Yves Guillemot admits that there is little his company could do to prevent a takeover. After the transaction occurred last December, an Ubisoft represented stated that EA's "acquisition of 19.9[%] of the groups capital is unsolicited and currently considered as hostile." Since then, the situation died down but over the months there were various tentative offers by the French government to help protect a buyout, though they did not seem to pan out. Bruno Bonnell, head of fellow French publisher Infogrames, also voiced his support for Ubisoft.

Now it seems that Guillemot is resigned to the fact that if EA is determined to take control of his company, there's little he can do to resist. "We are not safe from a hostile action from Electronic Arts, which it would be difficult to block if they make a genuinely interesting offer," Guillemot said in French newspaper Les Echoes, though he is sure to note that "I doubt that our shareholders could be won over by a cut price." By this point Ubisoft has become a major industry player and any buyout offer seriously considered by the company's shareholders is going to have to be sizeable to say the least. After Guillemot issued his statement, Ubisoft stock jumped 1.36 euros to 42.40 euros. EA stock held steady at US$58.46.

In the increasingly consolidated world of today's games industry, it would be a little disheartening to see a company like Ubisoft become folded into the world's largest company. Its shareholders would certainly be well taken care of, but Ubisoft is one of the few publishers around offering serious competition to EA and more competition is always a good thing for consumers as well as for the improvement of products.