Ubisoft is reportedly preparing to be acquired by a private equity firm.
That’s according to a report by Bloomberg (via Kotaku), which suggests Blackstone Inc. and KKR & Co., two of the biggest equity firms in the world, are beginning to assess the French publisher for a potential purchase.
Kotaku also reports that several current and former senior Ubisoft developers believe that a sale is inevitable, given the publisher’s languishing stock price and issues with production.
It also reports Ubisoft has hired several consultancy firms over the past few years in order to audit various components of the business, with the intention of making its finances presentable for a sale.
Ubisoft’s stock price has steadily risen as news of the potential acquisition reached the financial sector. Despite that, Ubisoft’s value is still approximately 35 per cent lower than it was just a year ago as the publisher faced heavy competition and slow production.
Ubisoft previously fought off a hostile takeover attempt by French media conglomerate Vivendi back in 2018 but it appears the publisher’s CEO, Yves Guillemot, has had a change of heart.
This may be caused by the exit of his own son Charlie Guillemot from the company, or the wave of sexual misconduct allegations that have beleaguered the publisher for some years.
In 2020, Ubisoft pledged to have a company-wide overhaul following those allegations. This was preceded by the departure of Ashraf Ismail, the creative director of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla who stepped down from his role following allegations of an extra-marital affair.
At the time, Guillemot addressed employees in an internal letter, stating he was “profoundly affected” by what he read on Ubisoft’s internal messaging site, Mana.
“I have gathered all of my direct reports to address this subject and your feedback. I would like us to thoroughly review all of our systems so that these types of situations cannot happen again,” he added.