If insider reporting is to be believed, the next major gaming acquisition to begin this year is Ubisoft. Reporting from Bloomberg as well as insider sources speaking with Kotaku say that a full acquisition of Ubisoft has been floated by Blackstone Inc. and KKR & Co. – two of the world’s biggest equity firms.
According to the reports, both private equity firms have been studying the company and have expressed “preliminary takeover interest,” though no official negotiations have begun. Insider reports also state that Ubisoft has been working with several outside consultancy firms to audit portions of its business; while companies very frequently do this in order to maximize profit, insiders suggest that Ubisoft’s audit moves are meant to make it more appealing to potential buyers.
Should a buyer come along, it may very likely get the company for a song: Ubisoft was worth $110 a share in July 2018, but its price is now just over $38 a share at the time of this writing.
This possible sale is a noted about-face for Ubisoft, as a hostile takeover attempt by Vivendi in 2018 was avoided. However, the company’s continued delay of developing titles, failed attempts at chasing the NFT dragon, and still-present sexual harassment scandals have likely made the prospect of selling out a bit more attractive.
A statement from the company says that it will not comment on rumors or speculation, further lauding Ubisoft’s “long-term approach and appetite for taking creative risks” to build “some of the industry’s strongest proprietary brands,” along with “promising new brands and projects on the horizon” and having the “industry’s deepest and most diversified portfolios.” All of which, rather interestingly, reads very much like a sales pitch.