NEWS - Friday, September 23, 2005

Ubisoft Still Threatened By EA

EA Takeover of Ubisoft Acceptable? CEO suggests that acquisition won’t be cheap. by Wade Steel September 22, 2005 - In an interview with French newspaper Les Echos, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot suggested that a takeover of the France-based publisher/developer could still happen, according to a report at Late last year, an acquisition of approximately 20% of Ubisoft’s outstanding stock by EA led to speculation that the American publishing giant was intent on launching a full takeover of Ubisoft. This speculation led to recriminations from Ubisoft executives including Guillemot that the EA bid was "hostile" and appeals to the French government for protection from any impending EA actions. In his statement to the French newspaper, Guillemot’s position appeared to soften somewhat when he stated that such an acquisition would not be cheap but that "reasonable offers would force the company to consider accepting, for the benefit of shareholders and employees." In Guillemot’s words, "We are not safe from a hostile action from Electronic Arts, which it would be difficult to block if they make a genuinely interesting offer...I doubt that our shareholders could be won over by a cut price." Guillemot stated that Ubisoft’s "clearly demonstrated" value justified the premium to be paid in any takeover. Upon hearing of Guillemot’s comments, investors bid up Ubisoft stock by 1.36 euros ($1.66) to 42.40 euros ($51.78). We will keep you fully informed on any further developments in this significant story in the gaming world.


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