Ubisoft announces shares buy-back program to fend off Vivendi takeover
Ubisoft is putting up a real fight (keep it up)!
Ubisoft has announced that they have granted a mandate to an investment service provider to help with repurchase their shares. Between October 5th and December 29th, Ubisoft can buy back around $4 million shares of their company back from shareholders and those shares will not be purchasable by anyone - including Vivendi.
This move from Ubisoft could have put a hold on Vivendi putting offering to purchase the game development company when they hit 30% of shares (which will likely occur in November). When Vivendi owns 30% of Ubisoft shares, French law says that they must put an offer on Ubisoft.
Vivendi began at owning 10% of Ubisoft's shares, but they have slowly been taking more and more. In February 2016 they jumped to 15%, then to 20% in June 2016. The multimedia company jumped to owning upwards of 22.8% of Ubisoft, with 20% of the voting rights in their hands. In November 2016, Vivendi made another leap to 24% of shares and 21% of voting rights.
In December 2016, Vivendi owned 25.15% of the company and 22.92% of its voting rights and in April of this year, it was said that Vivendi would be nearing the 'second phase' of their takeover attempt. The second phase, as noted above, comes when Vivendi owns 30%, at this point they are legally obliged to place a bid on Ubisoft and pursue a controlling stake in the company.