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Assassin’s Creed Maker Ubisoft catches the eye of private equity

Assassin's Creed Maker Ubisoft catches the eye of private equity

Private equity attackers take note of struggling publisher Ubisoft.

picture: Ubisoft

Private equity firms could start to revolve around Ubisoft, Bloomberg mentioned Friday. Talks are early, but they include interest from companies like Blackstone Inc. and KKR & Co. Even if it’s not private equity, current and former top Ubisoft developers Kotaku I’ve spoken with in recent months who think the company will eventually sell to someone amid a drop in the stock price and Ongoing production struggles.

Bloomberg Reports indicate that Blackstone and KKR & Co. , the world’s two largest private equity firms, had been “studying the French business” and had an “initial acquisition interest” in Ubisoft, but the company had not yet entered into “any serious negotiations with potential acquirers”.

to me KotakuFrom its sources, Ubisoft has been working closely with several outside consulting firms in recent years to audit various parts of their business. While companies will do this to become more profitable and prepare for the future, sources Kotaku The one I spoke with suggests that it’s a brand that Ubisoft is trying to arrange their books for potential sale.

In the wave of recent large acquisitions of games that include grand theft auto Publisher Take-Two Buy ZyngaSony Buy BungieMicrosoft deal worth $69 billion Activision Blizzard AbsorberIt seems to be a game to eat or be eaten by those who remain. EA CEO Andrew Wilson said equally in an earnings call earlier this year that the FIFA publisher put FIFA firmly in the “big fish looking to eat other fish” camp.

Ubisoft has been more timid about its survival strategy. When asked on the latest earnings call why the French publisher appeared to be receiving no interest, CFO Frederic Dugit said he would not speculate on why no bid was made, before being corrected by CEO and co-founder Yves Guillemot.. the company, Guillemot emphasized, It wasn’t Confirmation or denial “if” They are approached by potential buyers.

The cast of Beyond Good and Evil 2 is still waiting for the game to come out.

Beyond Good and Evil 2 He’s been bleeding cash and MIA for years.
picture: Ubisoft

If someone wants to buy Ubisoft, they can probably get it at a huge discount. The stock was over $24 per share In July 2018. Now it’s less than $9. But they still need to pass through the Guillemot family, which is currently estimated to hold 15% of the business with a market value of just under $5 billion.

Best known for its CEO, Yves Guillemot Repel a hostile takeover attempt by French media group Vivendi after securing funding from Tencent and others in 2018. But some current and former sources within the company now believe the 35-year-old video game industry veteran may be looking for an exit strategy.

They point to his son’s departure Charlie Guillemot last year Resulting in not leaving relatives to take over the family business. UbisHe often had a heart attack Continuous wave of attrition Among the top talents. Continue to struggle with the repercussions of a Workplace account of sexual misconduct which began in the summer of 2020. Some of its biggest projects still face disruptions, delays, or are trapped in development hell.

Like Bloomberg reported in FebruaryUbisoft decided to convert one of the Assassin’s Creed ValhallaDownloadable content planned for a temporary standalone game instead to help patch holes in its release calendar over the next 18 months. Meanwhile, the next day far cryAnd Ghost Reconand fully qualified Doctrine killer The games remain far beyond what Ubisoft had previously planned, according to three sources familiar with their development.

When a Ubisoft spokesperson was asked for comment, he sent Kotaku The following statement:

We do not comment on rumors or speculation. Ubisoft has unparalleled creativity and productivity, with more than 20,000 talented people collaborating across our global game development studios. Thanks to them, our long-standing approach and appetite for creative risk taking, we have built some of the strongest owned brands in the industry and have many promising new brands and ventures on the horizon. We also have one of the industry’s deepest and most diverse portfolios, cutting-edge services and technologies, and a large and growing community of players involved. As a result, we are in an ideal position to take advantage of the rapid growth of the industry and the platform opportunities that are now emerging.

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