Ubisoft have announced steps to delay a potential takeover bid from French media company Vivendi. It’s the latest manoeuvre from the publisher in a long running saga that has seen Vivendi gradually buy up more and more Ubisoft shares over the past two years, while Ubisoft have repeatedly stated that these advances are unsolicited and unwanted.
In a statement to investors, Ubisoft have stated that they’re going ahead with a share buyback plan that was approved at a shareholder meeting in September. It will see them purchase 4 million of its own shares, or 10%, and then retire them, making them unavailable for purchase by Vivendi or anyone else.
Vivendi currently holds a 27% share of Ubisoft and would be required under French law to make a takeover bid if it gains 30%. Buying back these shares wouldn’t stop Vivendi from gaining those 3% it would need if they want to, but puts it just that little bit further away.
Strangely enough, Bloomberg have reported that AGM, Vivendi’s parent company, don’t really know if they want to buy Ubisoft, making this like a bizarre and stupid game of corporate gods toying with beings smaller than themselves.