Assassin's saves Ubisoft from EA takeover

The success of Assassin's saw off any plans for EA to acquire Ubisoft says FT

A columnist with the Financial Times suggests that the success of Assassin's Creed has staved off any plans for Electronic Arts to acquire Ubisoft.

With Assassin's Creed selling 2.5 million units in a single month, Ubisoft's price tag just got higher, making it less susceptible to a hostile takeover by shareholder and competitor Electronic Arts, said an article in the Financial Times.

"The success of Assassin's Creed has helped Ubisoft increase its market value to €3bn ($4.3bn), making it all that more expensive as a target," stated the column.

In December 2004, Redwood City, Calif.-based EA bought a 20 percent stake in Paris, France-based rival Ubisoft. Since then, the stake has dropped to 15 percent. EA's purchase of shares was unsolicited, and considered "hostile" by Ubisoft.

The recent $18.9 billion Activision Blizzard merger has people wondering how the new entity's largest competitor will react. EA told Next-Gen following the news that the merger "doesn't change" EA's strategy. The firm announced plans to acquire BioWare/Pandemic in October in a deal worth over $800 million.

Ubisoft didn't expect Assassin's Creed to sell as well as it has. The publisher originally expected to sell 3 million units during the entire fiscal year ending in March. Ubisoft has now upped that projection to 5 million, and upgraded its 2007-2008 fiscal year sales forecast to €840 million ($1.2 billion), with around €410 million for the third quarter. Previous forecasts projected €825 million and €330 million, respectively.

Article supplied by Next-Gen