Ubisoft’s founders, the Guillemot Brothers just today made a massive buy on Ubisoft shares, acquiring another 1.75% of the company’s share for $2 million, with 56.25 Euros per share. The family previously owned 13.6% of the company making today’s total reaching 15.35%.
The other big name in Ubisoft, Vivendi, owns 27% of Ubisoft’s share capital and 24.5% of its voting rights where Guillemot’s voting rights are at 20.02%. These counter buys from both sides have been going on for quite some time now but as it seems like Guillemot’s buys will change how things work big time.
A press release by Ubisoft states:
Ubisoft has been informed that Guillemot Brothers SE and a bank have entered today into an agreement related to the purchase by Guillemot Brothers SE of a maximum number of 2,000,016 shares of Ubisoft representing c. 1.75% of the share capital of Ubisoft.
For Vivendi to get back the lead in Ubisoft shares they must pay $6 billion according to Reuters. Vivendi’s net cash plummetted to $540.355 million as of March 2017, down 1253% since 2015 where it had $7.31 billion net cash. That’s a tough break and it’s pretty safe to say that Vivendi won’t make a counter buy on Ubisoft.
Gameloft CEO and ex Vivendi COO Stéphane Roussel told Le Figaro that the company is not having its sight only on Ubisoft and even though it’s the “most natural solution” it’s not the only one.
The third bigger investor on Ubisoft, Fidelity Investments, support Guillemot’s decisions and its 10% share could help the founders completely destroy any tries of Vivendi to take back the lead. This seems the most logical outcome given Vivendi’s economical state and the fact the Guillemot will not let Ubisoft fall into the hands of someone else.
In 2017, Ubisoft reported total sales earnings of $1.61 billion (1.45 billion euros), of which digital made up almost 50% of that revenue via digital game sales, microtransactions and in-game spending, and add-on DLC.