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EA Poised To Buy More Ubisoft Shares

The saga of Electronic Arts and Ubisoft has been heating up lately: first EA announced its purchase o...
The saga of Electronic Arts and Ubisoft has been heating up lately: first EA announced its purchase of 19.9 percent of the French publisher, followed by Ubisoft officials characterizing the move as hostile and plans from both Ubisoft itself as well as alleged moves from its competitors to prevent the takeover. Now, EA has made a statement in a French financial filing indicating that it is considering the possibility of purchasing still more shares of Ubisoft's stock, possibly enough to take a controlling interest in the company. Currently, EA's share, purchased from Dutch media tycoon John de Mol and his investment vehicle Talpa Beheer BV, is the largest individual stake in the company; the Guillemot brothers, who founded the company, only own 17.5 percent of the stock despite their 22.8 percent of the vote on the board. Yves Guillemot, CEO of Ubisoft, is still determined to remain independent, though has yet offered no official plans for avoiding a hostile takeover from EA - some analysts have been predicted a merger with spun-off mobile division Gameloft to help fight off possible attacks. The up side for Ubisoft, as a result of EA's maneuvering, is that the company's French-based stock has risen 80% since EA's purchase on December 20th. The stock price closed after the news on Wednesday at 31.68 euros ($40.78) a share.

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