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Ubisoft founders bolster stake again in showdown with Vivendi

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Guillemots increase stock and voting rights, but still trail Vivendi on the whole

Ubisoft Debuts New Video Games At E3 Conference
Yves Guillemot at the Ubisoft E3 conference on June 12.
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Ubisoft's founding family has again upped its holdings in the company to ward off Vivendi's interest in taking control of it.

The Guillemots, whose Yves Guillemot is chief executive of Ubisoft, now own 13.6 percent of Ubisoft shares, reports Reuters, and 20.02 percent of Ubisoft's voting rights. Those figures are still smaller than Vivendi's stake, which is 27 percent of Ubisoft's share capital and 24.5 percent of its voting rights.

Under French law, the amount of stock a person or company may control is limited to 30 percent. Passing that obliges them to launch a public offer of the company.

Vivendi, which once owned Activision, bought into Ubisoft in 2015 and ramped up its stake significantly at the end of 2016, although Vivendi insisted on the record that it wasn't attempting a hostile takeover.

At Ubisoft's annual shareholder meeting in September 2016, Yves Guillemot and Gerard Guillemot, the CEO of Ubisoft Motion Pictures, were both re-elected to the board while Vivendi was unable to get any of its representatives elected. Still, Vivendi was able to wrest Gameloft away from the Guillemots earlier in 2016.