It was just recently that we learned Ubisoft may be among the video game publishers and developers up on the block for another big deal or acquisition this year. Buyout firms had been showing interest, but nothing substantial had solidified yet. Now, it seems the Guillemot family, which is one of Ubisoft’s largest shareholders, may be looking to partner with an equity firm, take over Ubisoft altogether, and take it private.
The latest details on the ongoing fate of Ubisoft’s ownership come from a recent report at Seeking Alpha. According to the report, the Guillemot family may be courting a private equity firm with the intention of buying Ubisoft. The family already owns 15.9 percent of the company’s shares and is its largest shareholder. The supposed move would likely be with intention to take the company private so the Guillemots could retain control over Ubisoft’s business, publishing, and game development.
The Guillemots supposed move to acquire Ubisoft themselves comes after rumors last week that buyout firms were eyeing the company for a possible takeover. With a 22.4 stake in the company’s shareholder voting, the Guillemots signaled that they were likely to oppose an outside buyout if the matter came up.
Ubisoft has drifted from its prime over the course of the last few years under the leadership of current CEO Yves Guillemot. Various delays on high-profile projects such as the studio-shifting Prince of Persia remake and continual scandal in the form of workplace toxicity and harassment within the company have weakened public perception of it over time. Nonetheless, Yves has remained its CEO and the stock actually rose on word of the Guillemots moving for a takeover of Ubisoft themselves, as seen on Yahoo Finance.
With nothing settled just yet, it will be interesting to see what happens next with Ubisoft. The Guillemots seem unlikely to stand aside as an outside influence takes over, but it will remain to be seen if the family has the resources to seize control itself.