Vivendi SA for a few years now has been eyeing game studio Ubisoft as a potential target for a hostile takeover.
The French media conglomerate has been snatching up company stock and now owns 26 percent of Ubisoft shares. Under French law, Vivendi would be required to pursue a controlling stake once it acquires 30 percent.
Reuters predicted that a move for a takeover would come before the end of the year but Vivendi’s lower-than-expected third-quarter earnings coupled with a boon in Ubisoft’s valuation means such actions will not happen for at least another six months.
Last year, Vivendi claimed that it had no intentions for a takeover. Even though it is entitled to 22 percent voting rights on the board, it has not asked for representation in Ubisoft (was that the calm before the storm?).
Reuters is now reporting that sources within the company have revealed that a takeover would not be occurring within the next six months due in part to Ubisoft managing to push its shares to a record high. The studio’s stock is up 96 percent since January.
Ubisoft has taken note of Vivendi’s comment and will be keeping a close eye on the situation. The Guillemot family, who founded the studio and still owns 15 percent of the stock, has long opposed the rival company’s aggressive maneuvering, calling it “unsolicited and unwelcome.”
“Ubisoft takes note of Vivendi's statement,” a spokesperson told GameSpot. “We will remain vigilant about their long-term intentions and will continue to pursue our strategy of growth and value creation in the interest of all our shareholders.”