The past few months have been very hectic for Ubisoft, as they have been trying fight off being acquired by Vivendi. They lost Gameloft to them and with Ubisoft shares getting bought by Vivendi, they are having few options left.
Soon after Vivendi announced they owned 20.10% of Ubisoft shares a few days ago, Ubisoft launched an employee share ownership plan called MMO 2016. The goal is to allow employees to buy shares at a discounted price.
According to the press release, the offer aims to “develop employee share ownership in order to more closely associate its employees with the growth and future results of the group”. The offer allows members of the Ubisoft group to buy shares at 15% below market price. There is one condition: the shares are frozen for five years and can’t be resold during that period.
This won’t disrupt the group’s ownership, since the total amount of shares that can be sold can’t exceed 3%. However, this move can be seen as a way for Yves Guillemot’s company to protect parts of its shares, in a context made tense by Vivendi: the company now owns over 20% of Ubisoft’s shares
This above quote indicates that Ubisoft is trying a new tactic to prevent the take over and we will see how this pans out for both companies.