Ubisoft CEO reiterates desire to keep group independent, eyes Netflix series

Yves Guillemot, CEO of Ubisoft, speaks on stage during the Ubisoft E3 conference at the Orpheum theatre in Los Angeles, California June 15, 2015. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

PARIS (Reuters) - The head of French software games developer Ubisoft reiterated on Monday his desire to keep Ubisoft independent, in the face of pressure from shareholder Vivendi, and added Ubisoft was in talks with Netflix over a series.

Vivendi has been gradually increasing its stake in Ubisoft, and holds more than 20 percent at the moment. But Vivendi ruled out making a hostile takeover bid for Ubisoft in October.

Ubisoft’s chairman and chief executive, Yves Guillemot, also told reporters at a news briefing that there had been no new contact with Vivendi.

Guillemot added Ubisoft was considering acquisitions in the 50-100 million euros ($110.7 million) price range, primarily in the mobile phone games sector, and that Ubisoft was considering hiring 500-1,000 staff in France over the next five years.

He also said Ubisoft’s founding family was looking at ways in which they could have the most control over Ubisoft.

($1 = 0.9033 euros)

Reporting by Gwenaelle Barzic, writing by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Brian Love