Ubisoft could potentially be the next big third-party video game company to be bought out. According to a report on Bloomberg, the French publisher and developer known for franchises such as Assassin's Creed and Just Dance could be gearing up for a sale.
Private equity firms Blackstone Inc. and KKR & Co are supposedly "already studying the French" business. According to Kotaku, who has been in contact with former Ubisoft developers, it's believed the company will "eventually sell to someone amid a flagging stock price and ongoing struggles" tied to multiple projects.
However, Bloomberg's sources claim "Ubisoft hasn't entered into any serious negotiations with potential acquirers, and it's unclear whether its major shareholder is willing to pursue a deal".
Kotaku adds how Ubisoft has apparently been "working closely with several outside consultancy firms" in recent years to audit parts of the business. Kotaku's sources believe Ubisoft could be doing this ahead of a potential sale. Representatives of Blackstone, KKR and Ubisoft have not provided a response to news of a potential takeover.
This follows on from a story in February this year during a third-quarter earnings call - where CEO Yves Guillemot ("the company's biggest investor with a 15% stake") said the company would "of course" review any potential acquisition offers:
"Ubisoft can remain independent...our IPs are sought after by the biggest global players in entertainment and tech. Having said that, if there were an offer to buy us, the board of directors would of course review it in the interest of all stakeholders."
If we hear any updates, we'll let you know. Tell us your thoughts in the comments!