The Guillemot family have secured backing from an unnamed bank to buy 4 million shares in Ubisoft. This is the latest move to stop a takeover of the publisher by former Activision Blizzard parent company Vivendi.
The 4 million shares equal around 3.5 percent of Ubisoft. That sounds like a small number, but it would be a big jump in private ownership in the company, as the Guillemot brothers currently own 9 percent of shares.
Vivendi completed a successful takeover of the Guillemot family's other game publisher, Gameloft, earlier this year. In June, Gameloft CEO Michel Guillemot resigned and the Guillemot family sold the majority of its shares to Vivendi, which had already gained 56 percent of Gameloft's stock. Vivendi raised its stake in Ubisoft to 20.1 percent in July of this year. At 30 percent, the company has to make a public offer to buy Ubisoft, something the company has said it is not considering at this time.
"Vivendi is considering continuing to acquire shares depending on market conditions," said Vivendi in a statement. "Vivendi is not considering the launch of a public tender on Ubisoft nor acquiring the control of the company. Vivendi is hoping to build a fruitful cooperation with Ubisoft."
The Guillemots and Vivendi are trying to strengthen their positions ahead of the Ubisoft's annual shareholder meeting on September 29. According to Bloomberg, the Guillemot family is hoping to rally other shareholders behind them to keep Ubisoft independent.
"We are seeing a race between Vivendi and Guillemot brothers," Louis Capital Markets head of research Charles-Louis Planade told Bloomberg. "If Vivendi wants Ubisoft, it will have to pay for it."