Vivendi sells last of Ubisoft shares after failed takeover attempt

Major media conglomerate Vivendi has sold its remaining shares in the video game company Ubisoft after a failed attempted hostile takeover of the company. The news comes just under a year after Vivendi publicly abandoned plans to purchase enough shares in Ubisoft to stage the takeover, with this last sale effectively ending all ties between the two companies and for the foreseeable future.

As reported by Reuters, the sale of the shares netted Vivendi a capital gain of $249 million. Vivendi had recently said that its remaining shares in Ubisoft represented a 5.9 percent stake in the company, which sold whole stake for 429 million euros. With this sale, Vivendi has announced that it is no longer a shareholder in the company and that it will stand by its commitment to refrain from purchasing more Ubisoft shares for five years.

This marks the conclusion of the attempted takeover which began in 2015 when Vivendi purchased stakes in Ubisoft and its sibling company Gameloft for $181 million. Over the following year, Vivendi proceeded to acquire a stake in Ubisoft of up to 27 percent, putting its holdings just shy of the 30 percent required by French law to legally stage a takeover. The game company was publicly opposed to the attempt throughout, repeatedly stating that by losing its independence, the game company could not produce the high-level quality content that it does today.

After failing to secure enough support from the board of directors, Vivendi was forced to reach an agreement with Ubisoft in March of 2018 which saw the conglomerate withdraw its plans for a takeover. Today’s sale and the agreement to withhold from purchasing shares for five years was a part of that agreement. Despite this setback, Vivendi has stated that it is still very interested in expanding into the video game sector, utilizing its ownership over mobile game developer Gameloft to do so.

With the attempted hostile takeover behind it, Ubisoft is looking ahead to wrap up the 2019 financial year with still yet-unannounced AAA titles.

[via Montreal Gazette]/Image Source: Ubisoft