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Ubisoft CEO on Buyout Talks: 'We Have Everything We Need to Remain Independent"

Ubisoft, founded by the Guillemot family in 1986 and run by Yves Guillemot, remains protective of its independence.
Ubisoft, founded by the Guillemot family in 1986 and run by Yves Guillemot, remains protective of its independence. / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has rebuffed the company's apparent intentions to remain independent in its 2022 financial year earnings call.

The statement comes about a week removed from reports suggesting that 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.

"There has been a lot of talk about consolidation in the industry and in Ubisoft in particular," Guillemot said (H/T GamesIndustry.biz). "Our overall position is clear, and well known. As we said last February, we have everything we need to remain independent. We have the talent, the industrial and the financial scale, and a large portfolio of powerful IPs to create massive value in the coming years.

"It has provided us with a plan to build strategic partnerships with the biggest players in entertainment and tech. The current speculation is putting in plain sight the real appeal and value of our assets and of our value creation potential."

Guillemot reportedly also went on to add that the company will still "review any offer," as it is the "standard and a best practice" for any publicly listed company.

In late April, Bloomberg first reported that the French video game maker is drawing buyout interest from suitors. A day later, 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.

As Yves Guillemot referenced in the call, he 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.

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 Bungieand Microsoft’s $68.7 billion deal to acquire Activision Blizzard.