Failed Takeover Attempt Forces Vivendi To Sell Remaining Ubisoft Shares

Vivendi, a French mass media conglomerate, announced on Tuesday that it has sold off all its remaining Ubisoft shares. Ubisoft is the developer and publisher behind video games such as Assassin’s Creed, Watch Dogs and various other titles for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.

These shares represented a 5.9% stake in Ubisoft, which Vivendi sold for 429 million euros ($484 million). According to Vivendi, it’s “no longer a Ubisoft shareholder and maintains its commitment to refrain from purchasing Ubisoft shares for a period of five years,”.

Vivendi, which already owns Gameloft, a global leader in mobile video games, confirms its intention to continue to strengthen its position in the video games sector.

Although Vivendi has no share in Ubisoft anymore, it still owns Gameloft. The company also noted that it’s still looking to reinforce a presence in the video game industry.

Back in 2015, Vivendi originally acquired a 27% stake in Ubisoft and Gameloft for a combined $181 million (160 million euros). Vivendi owned 30.5 million Ubisoft shares at its best, which was about 27.3% of the company.

This gave Vivendi the opportunity to be in a position of being the largest shareholder of Ubisoft and allowed it to profit considerably. But, it didn’t allow Vivendi to gain a seat at Ubisoft’s board of directors. After which they entered a battle of a hostile takeover with the founders of Ubisoft that would go on for the next 4 years.

In March 2018, Vivendi sold most of its shares for €2 billion ($2.4 billion) and has gained a capital of 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion) and both companies eventually came to a mutual agreement that Vivendi will sell all of its Ubisoft shares and will not purchase any share within Ubisoft for the next five years.

After Vivendi backing out, Ubisoft has gained two major investors: The Chinese tech giant Tencent having a 5% stake and Canada’s Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has a 3.4% stake.