Ubisoft could be the next company to be bought amid ongoing industry-wide acquisitions, including Microsoft buying Activision Blizzard, Sony buying Bungie, and Take-Two acquiring wireless giant Zynga.
That’s because Bloomberg reports that several private equity firms, including Blackstone Inc. and KKR & Co., have been investigating the French business and are keeping an eye on it for potential takeovers, according to sources the publication says are people knowledgeable on the matter . Despite this, Ubisoft has reportedly not entered into serious discussions or negotiation processes with these potential buyers and Bloomberg’s Sources say it’s unclear if Ubisoft’s major shareholder is even willing to go ahead with such a transaction.
That major shareholder is Ubisoft chairman Yves Guillemot, who owns a 15% stake in the Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry publisher. Over the past year, Ubisoft stock has fallen about 41%, taking its total market value to about $5.2 billion. Bloomberg his sources say that “deliberations are at an early stage and there is no certainty that any of the applicants will proceed with offers.”
Ubisoft tells Bloomberg that it has built a strong portfolio and is positioned “to capitalize on new opportunities amid rapid industry growth,” although it declined to comment specifically on acquisition interests. Since news of this potential takeover interest broke, Ubisoft stock is up 11%, as reported by Chronicle of Video Games.
Ubisoft could try to fend off a potential takeover, as it did in 2018 when it avoided a Vivendi takeover. It remains to be seen whether Ubisoft wants to be acquired or is willing to stave off such a purchase.
If Ubisoft is acquired this year, it would join a slew of other purchases that have largely defined gaming in 2022 so far. It started when Take-Two Interactive, the parent company behind the Grand Theft Auto series, announced in January that it would acquire cellphone giant Zynga for nearly $13 billion. Then, a week later, Microsoft announced it would acquire Activision Blizzard, the company behind Overwatch and Call of Duty, for a whopping $68.7 billion, and then two weeks later, Sony announced it would buy Bungie would buy for $3.6 billion. A few weeks later, Sony also announced that it had acquired Jade Raymond’s new studio Haven.
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