In an interview with consumer game site GameSpot, Ubisoft's CEO and co-founder Yves Guillemot has commented on the recent news
that Electronic Arts is intending to buy around 19.9 percent of the French-headquartered publisher.
Subject to U.S. anti-trust clearance, the deal is thought to be worth between $85 and $100 million, and this particular block of shares is to be purchased from Dutch media tycoon John de Mol, founder of reality TV giant Endemol, and his investment vehicle Talpa Beheer BV.
In particular, Guillemot commented of EA's purchase: "I have stated on the record that I view this action on the part of EA as hostile", and further marked of future concerns: "When looking at the longer-term, our only concern is the risk that we may not be allowed to fully realize our vocation of being creators of high quality games." The Ubisoft CEO also expressed disappointment that Electronic Arts had not formally or informally contacted him before making the share purchase.
Going forward, Ubisoft's concern must be that EA will try to purchase further blocs of shares with an eye to becoming the majority Ubisoft shareholder, a tactic the company is currently employing
in an attempt to gain control of Swedish-based Battlefield 1942
creators Digital Illusions CE (DICE), and with almost 45 percent of all Ubisoft shares owned by smaller shareholders, the company may be vulnerable to just such a tactic.
However, Electronic Arts have yet to make any further comment on the matter, and Guillemot concluded the interview with GameSpot by remarking simply: "A minority stake in the company - even if it is held by a competitor - remains just that, a minority stake."