PARIS (Reuters) - U.S. bank JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) now indirectly owns 11.33 percent of Ubisoft (UBIP.PA)’s shares and 10.33 percent of voting rights, French markets authority AMF said on Wednesday.
The move occurs a little more than a week before the French video games maker’s general meeting and virtually makes JPMorgan its third-largest shareholder after media giant Vivendi (VIV.PA) and Ubisoft’s founding family the Guillemots.
Vivendi and the Guillemots have been at odds for two years, as the media group’s repeated attempts to get board representation at Ubisoft were vehemently opposed by the Guillemots, with the backing of several institutional investors.
Vivendi currently holds about 25 percent of Ubisoft’s shares, while the Guillemots have about 15 percent, according to Reuters data.
JPMorgan, which previously held less than 1 percent of the French video game maker’s shares, has essentially increased its exposure to Ubisoft by acquiring buy and sell options on the stock, according to AMF.
It also signed a contract with an Ubisoft shareholder to borrow shares and six cash-settled equity swap contracts, the French regulator added.
“This statement is purely technical, with no incidence on the vote (at the general meeting),” a spokeswoman for Ubisoft said.
Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain and Gwenaelle Barzic; Editing by Brian Love and Leigh Thomas