We're taking over

Assassin's Creed studio Ubisoft is in danger of being taken over by mass media conglomerate Vivendi, claims boss Yves Guillemot.

Vivendi - which has history in the games industry with companies like Activision Blizzard and Sierra - has been aggressively seeking a controlling stake in Ubisoft since last year. It bought 6.6 percent of the company in October - 7.36m shares worth $161m - and later that month upped its stake to 10.39 percent.

In addition to swallowing up Ubisoft shares, Vivendi also started eyeing up Gameloft, the mobile game company founded by Guillemot and his siblings.

Guillemot went on record at the time to call Vivendi's actions "unsolicited and unwelcome", while Vivendi said it was all simply "part of a strategic vision of operational convergence between Vivendi's content and platforms on one hand and the Ubisoft and Gameloft productions in video games on the other."

Vivendi hasn't stopped there, however. This month, the company acquired 30 percent of Gameloft, which - under French law - was a large enough share to trigger a mandatory takeover bid. Vivendi is trying to gain more of the company by offering current shareholders 50 percent more than the actual shares are worth.

Guillemot has recently met with prime minister Justin Trudeau, presumably to talk about the many Canadian employees which could be impacted by Vivendi assuming control of the company. The Ubisoft boss has also been speaking to Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail about the company's strategy to hold off Vivendi:

We want to increase the number of Canadian shareholders in Ubisoft to have better control over the capital. We feel it's a good defence.

It's amazing to think that a firm as big as Ubisoft could possibly be in danger of being taken over, but - to quote the late, great Qui-Gon Jinn - there's always a bigger fish.

[source eurogamer.net]