Pachter to EA: Buy Ubi or Get Out

Noted Wedbush Morgan industry analyst Michael Pachter has announced to investors that Wedbush Morgan has begun in-depth coverage of Ubisoft, along with its continuing coverage of other major game publishers such as Electronic Arts, Activision, and THQ. Based on Ubisoft's heavy early investment in development for the new current-gen platforms and strong brands, Pachter puts Ubisoft stock at "buy" status, despite the company's recent losses.

One particularly interesting aspect of the investor note comes when Pachter addresses EA's 2004 purchase of a 20% stake in Ubisoft. Seeing little point in EA keeping its minority shareholder position without taking further action, Pachter recommends EA either complete the acquisition of the company, or sell off its stock. "In our view, EA shareholders can decide individually whether an investment in Ubisoft is prudent (and of course, we think it is)," he wrote. "We therefore believe that EA should either complete its acquisition of Ubisoft or divest of its minority interest. With approximately $2.4 billion in cash, EA could complete its acquisition of Ubisoft at any time."

Last year, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemote admitted that if EA is committed to acquiring Ubisoft, the French publisher would have little recourse. "We are not safe from a hostile action from Electronic Arts," he said.