Ubisoft reportedly attracting potential buyers
The basics: The report is careful to establish that nothing is set in stone at this time.
- Bloomberg's sources claim that several funds are interested in a potential takeover of the company behind the Assassin's Creed and Tom Clancy's franchises.
- Among the interested parties named are Blackstone Inc. (a firm with 106 companies in its portfolio) and KKR & Co. (investor in Epic Games and dozens of non-gaming companies). These are two of the private equity firms that are reportedly "studying" the video game company.
- The report is quick to clarify that no serious negotiations have taken place regarding a takeover, nor is it known whether the French gaming giant's major shareholder — the family of its Chairman, Yves Guillemot — would be interested in such a transaction.
Hostile takeover? This wouldn't be the first time Ubisoft has been targeted for a takeover.
- French media company Vivendi targeted Ubisoft as a company it wanted to acquire in 2015. Vivendi bought Ubisoft stock but, not long after, Guillemot expressed his belief that it had to remain independent to maintain creative freedom.
- Vivendi continued to snap up shares in the company over the next couple of years, approaching an ownership share of 30% that could have triggered a takeover. In October 2017, Ubisoft reached a deal with an investment firm that helped it to prevent the media company from acquiring more ownership.
- Come March 2018, the two parties entered an agreement that would prevent a potential takeover.
The industry: Acquisitions and major investments have been rife in gaming in recent months.
- Zynga was acquired by Take-Two Interactive for $12.7B in January 2022.
- Microsoft is in the process of acquiring Activision Blizzard for almost $69B.
- ESL and FACEIT are to be acquired for $1.5B by Savvy Gaming Group, a Saudi-owned entity.
- Sony entered a definitive agreement in January 2022 that will see it acquire Halo creator Bungie for $3.6B.
- Sony and KIRKBI, the parent company of The LEGO Group, invested $1B each in Fortnite publisher Epic Games in April 2022.