The Guillemot family has increased its stake in Ubisoft, in an effort to rebuff a takeover from French mass media company Vivendi.
According to a stock market filing (via Reuters, and Gamasutra), the Guillemot family now holds 13.6 percent of Ubisoft’s share capital. This is in addition to 20.02 percent of the company’s voting rights.
Ubisoft – which was formed by the five Guillemot brothers in 1986, and is better known for the Assassin's Creed franchise – is currently led by co-founder Yves Guillemot. Vivendi started taking an interest in the developer and publisher in 2015. In 2016 they aggressively expanded their stake; they currently hold over 25 percent, with 22.92 percent of its voting rights.
Vivendi has said in the past that they don’t want to take over Ubisoft, and instead hope to build a “fruitful” cooperative relationship. Previously, the conglomerate purchased a stake in Gameloft – a mobile studio also founded by the Guillemots. This then escalated to a hostile takeover.
Ubisoft has actively resisted Vivendi's efforts. The company launched a campaign to bolster support from fans, investors, and shareholders last year. They have also stated that their independence has given them a creative freedom they wouldn’t normally have.
We’ll keep you updated as this story develops.