NEWS - Saturday, January 15, 2005

EA says Ubisoft buy not hostile

EA Says Ubisoft Buy Not Hostile But takeover-wary Ubisoft comes back with a defense plan. On January 14, 2005 - An article in the French newspaper La Tribune quotes Electronic Arts as having no hostile intentions in its 20% investment in Ubisoft, and that EA held talks with the French publisher. "Everyone thinks that we never had talks with Ubisoft," EA Europe's Gerhard Florin told La Tribune. "We spoke to Ubisoft, Activision, Eidos, and a lot of other producers. We didn't only speak of acquisitions but also industrial partnerships." Ubisoft has already proclaimed EA's December purchase as hostile, and rival Infogrames and even the French government have offered to help defend the company from a takeover. Regardless, EA maintains its intentions are not hostile. "We had the opportunity to buy a 20% stake in Ubisoft and we haven't asked for anything... That's not hostile," explained Florin. "In our industry, one doesn't make hostile moves because our value lies with people." At the same time, an AFX story reports that Ubisoft has already worked out a secret defense plan to prevent any takeover. Ubisoft Chairman Yves Guillemot commented on France Info radio: "All the strategies have been studied, and we have a plan, which I cannot reveal, that will allow us to win in this matter, that is to say to keep the creativity that constitutes Ubisoft's value today." The Guillemot family owns 17.5 percent of Ubisoft shares, and holds 26.5 percent voting rights. We'll keep you up-to-date as the situation continues to develop.


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