Vivendi has revealed that it will sell all of its shares in Ubisoft by 5th March 2019, finally putting an end to the power struggle that has been taking place between the two firms over recent years.
Ubisoft has been fending off an "unsolicited and unwelcome" takeover bid from Vivendi for some time now; back in 2015, the mass media conglomerate started to buy large chunks of Ubisoft's shares, forcing the game developer to seek a higher number of Canadian shareholders to "have better control over the capital", and causing numerous concerns for the company's future. The struggle has been ongoing and increasing, with Vivendi reportedly owning a 27.27% stake in Ubisoft by the start of 2018.
Earlier this year, though, Vivendi decided to pull the plug on the takeover, announcing that it would sell its entire stake in the publisher. The move came as a result of Ubisoft's efforts to protect itself - whereby it repurchased its own shares and took investment from the Ontario Teachers’ Public Equities division and Chinese firm Tencent - and the dates have now been put in place to seal the deal.
It's believed that Vivendi currently owns around 6.7% of Ubisoft's shares and, according to MCV, 0.91% of these will be sold on 1st October, with the remaining (approximately) 5.74% being sold on 5th March. The total value of these shares is said to be "at around €500 million (£444m), with sales pre-agreed at €66 (£58.60) per share".
So is this truly the end of Ubisoft's struggles against the French conglomerate? Well, it is for now - part of this new agreement between the two firms states that Vivendi will refrain from repurchasing any Ubisoft shares for five years.
You wouldn't know it from the happy, colourful vibes in recent releases like Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, but Ubisoft's been having a bit of a tough time just lately. This deal will be a huge relief for those involved, we're sure.