The Guillemot family, which founded, partly owns and runs Ubisoft, is likely to oppose a company takeover bid from third-party buyers and is considering partnering with a private equity firm to acquire the company, according to Dealreporter (H/T Seeking Alpha).
The news comes less than two weeks removed from Bloomberg reporting that the French video game maker is drawing buyout interest from suitors. In recent weeks, Kotaku also reported that senior current and former Ubisoft developers believe that the company "will eventually sell to someone amid a flagging stock price and ongoing production struggles."
Ubisoft, founded by the Guillemot family in 1986 and run by CEO Yves Guillemot, remains protective of its independence.
In 2018, Ubisoft and Yves Guillemot battled and eventually won against a hostile takeover attempt by French mass media holding company Vivendi.
Yves Guillemot has previously stated that Ubisoft has had no plans to sell out and could remain independent, citing its "talent," "industrial and financial scale," and "large portfolio of powerful IP."
Under Guillemot's operational control, Ubisoft has been a hotbed of controversy around workplace discrimination in the past couple of years. Major executives have been pushed out because of their misconduct and employees at the company continue to push for further improvements.
The Guillemot family currently owns 15.9% of Ubisoft's shares and 22.3% of its net voting shares.
As also mentioned by Seeking Alpha, Ubisoft's stock took off Wednesday afternoon to gain up to 10% now that word has gone out that the Guillemot family is mulling partnering up and buying back the company.
Of course, this all comes amid a recent wave of groundbreaking gaming acquisitions that include Take-Two Interactive's $12.7 billion deal to acquire Zynga, Sony's $3.6 billion deal to acquire Bungie and Microsoft’s $68.7 billion deal to acquire Activision Blizzard.