Vivendi buys more stock in Ubisoft, raising its ownership to 24 percent

The move was precipitated by Ubisoft's strong third-quarter financials.


Vivendi issued a press release stating that it now owns 24.059 percent of share capital in Ubisoft.

"Vivendi (Paris:VIV) announced today that it crossed the statutory threshold of 24% of Ubisoft’s share capital on November 4, 2016," reads the release. "On that date it owned 24.059% of the share capital and 21.296% of the voting rights of Ubisoft, based on the number of shares and voting rights declared by the video games company on September 30, 2016."

The French conglomerate made its move as a result of Ubisoft reporting high earnings for the third quarter late last week. Vivendi remains the company's single largest shareholder.

Tensions between Ubisoft and Vivendi continue to grow acrimonious. Vivendi decided against seeking a board seat or proposing new resolutions at a shareholders meeting in September, but did hold up proceedings by choosing not to vote in some instances.

Vivendi's refusal to participate did not sit well with Ubisoft. "Some resolutions were rejected due to Vivendi's systematic obstruction, impeding the proper functioning of the company, in particular regarding its competitive compensation policy for its talents," the company said in a press release (via GameSpot).

Ubisoft has made it clear that it wishes to remain independent despite Vivendi's repeated attempts at a hostile takeover. Earlier this fall, Ubisoft co-founders and brothers Yves and Michel Guillemot reacquired 3.625 million shares in their company. The purchase was made possible with the aid of Bpifrance, a bank that has been a partner to Ubisoft for many years.

The Guillemots believe a hostile takeover by Vivendi will creatively stifle Ubisoft, which has enjoyed tremendous success as an independent entity. "Creativity, agility, and risk-taking is intrinsic to our industry," Yves Guillemot said in an earlier interview. "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."

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

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