A bit of late breaking financial news for you this Friday. Bloomberg are reporting that a couple of investment firms, Blackstone and KKR, are taking a look at Ubisoft with the possible intention of a buy out.
This is not the first time Ubisoft has drawn interest. EA and Vivendi have both had a go in the past but Ubisoft, the majority of which is owned (and run) by the Guillemot family, has defended itself. The speculation has lead to an impressive 11% jump in the value of Ubisoft shares.
Recently Analyst Mike Hickey speculated that the company could be sold for a premium. “We think recent deals including Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)– Activision (NASDAQ:ATVI) has provided a valuation floor for UBI,” Hicker wrote in a note to clients. “We imagine an acquirer would bid an approximate €65 for UBI (up 45%), which would be in-line with MSFT’s consideration of ATVI on a profit multiple.”
But why do you care? Well, to put it in one word: Sony. If Ubisoft is up for grabs then the PlayStation firm is bound to be interested, Microsoft nabbing Activision and with it, some of the biggest franchises in the world, certainly took the shine off the PlayStation brand. Rumours of them sniffing around the French publisher have been around for years and nabbing Assassin’s Creed would be a big win for them.
Ubisoft also have a fairly active multi media arm with Driver, Assassin’s Creed, and Rabbids being turned in to TV shows, and there are also films of Werewolves Within, Tom Clancy’s The Division, and even a senior citizen Esports movie in the works. Sony have PlayStation Productions which is doing a similar thing.
Rather like Activision it appears the recent allegations of sexual misconduct are not putting off investors. We will keep you updated if we hear anymore.