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Vivendi isn’t sure what to do with its Ubisoft stock

Vivendi isn’t sure what to do with its Ubisoft stock

French media conglomerate Vivendi is reportedly undecided about whether it should sell or make a bid on Ubisoft stock.

That’s according to Bloomberg, who says that the CEO of Universal Music and Canal Plus Stephane Roussel told the media outlet this after Ubisoft’s AGM.

During this AGM, Vivendi refrained from asking for a shareholder vote, but it has had a board seat request rejected. However, the company did abstain on a vote about employees receiving free shares that meant this didn’t pass.

However, later this year when double-voting rights kick in, Vivendi will have a greater share of power on Ubisoft’s board. Currently conglomerate owns 26 per cent of Ubisoft’s shares; double voting will bring that closer to the 30 per cent threshold, under which Vivendi would be legally obliged to make a big on Ubisoft.

Ubisoft has been fighting off Vivendi’s advances for almost two years now. The founder and CEO Yves Guillemot has repeatedly insisted that Vivendi would have a negative impact on the French publishing giant’s business, which the exec was more than happy to repeat in an interview with Bloomberg.

"A video game company cannot grow within a media conglomerate," he said, reportedly citing Disney’s attempts to get into the games space.

“In our industry, independence is needed to take risks, to be innovative. That is not compatible with Vivendi’s way of operating."

Ubisoft is still continuing to perform well, despite Vivendi’s shadow hanging over the company. Stock is up 70 per cent year-on-year while annual sales are predicted to rise 18 per cent.

Vivendi's last big video game play was Activision Blizzard; that company spent $5.83bn to regain its independence back in 2013. 

 


PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site PCGamesInsider.biz. In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for GamesIndustry.biz, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.

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