Vivendi increases its stake in Ubisoft to almost 18%

The company denies that it's trying to take over the Assassin's Creed publisher, however

Last October, French media company Vivendi brought its stake in fellow French games publisher Ubisoft to more than 10 percent. By February of this year, that number jumped up to 15 percent, and today, according to Reuters, Vivendi has increased its stake again to 17.73 percent - the company also now has 15.66 percent of the voting rights in Ubisoft.

For its part, as of February Ubisoft said it has been seeking investors to pre-empt a potential hostile takeover, courting potential partners in Montreal, Toronto and London, and it would welcome direct investment from Canadian government. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau even toured the campus of Ubisoft Montreal with Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot.

"We want to increase the number of Canadian shareholders in Ubisoft to have better control over the capital," Guillemot said at the time. "We feel it's a good defense."

Reuters notes, however, that despite Vivendi's continued purchase of more Ubisoft shares, the company "has no plan to seek control of Ubisoft or submit a public offer for outstanding shares."

Vivendi is roughly 12 percent shy of having enough shares in Ubisoft to trigger a mandatory takeover bid, which is what happened with Gameloft in February when Vivendi's ownership in the mobile games company crossed 30 percent.

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