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Ubi would consider Hollywood buyout

Ubisoft chief executive Yves Guillemot says the company would consider takeover bids from major Hollywood studios despite preferring to maintain its independence, according to a report in French newspaper La Tribune.

The CEO told the paper that an acquisition by a large multinational entertainment firm - such as Walt Disney Co. or Time Warner - "is a solution which could be, for us, fairly interesting.

"This could speed up Ubisoft's development," he added, before going on to suggest that Ubi might also consider merging with another publisher of equal standing.

"Joining forces would permit us to become No. 2 worldwide... To have more brands," Guillemot said. Ubisoft is currently the second-largest games publisher in Europe after Electronic Arts, which bought a 20 per cent stake in the company last December.

This prompted talk of a possible merger, but Guillemot was non-committal in his Tribune interview. "We talk to each other from time to time but, for example, we have not been in contact for several weeks," he said.

He was also careful to point out that neither mergers nor acquisitions are considered best options at present: "We would like to remain independent because it is the best solution, especially for our shareholders."

Ubisoft currently has offices in 21 countries around the globe, with sales in more than 50 countries. The publisher recently published revenue figures of ââ¬537 million for the 04-05 financial year, an increase of 8 per cent over the previous period.

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.