Vivendi Withholds Vote at Ubisoft Shareholder Meeting

By Max Bernhard Features Dow Jones Newswires

Vivendi SA (VIV.FR) said that it didn't vote on resolutions submitted at Ubisoft Entertainment SA (UBI.FR) shareholders meeting Friday in protest of not being invited to join the videogame maker's board of directors.

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"Vivendi regrets that, in defiance of all logical corporate governance, it has not yet been invited to be a member of the board of directors, even though it is the largest shareholder, with 26.63% of the share capital," the company said.

After buying an initial stake in 2015, Vivendi has been pushing to get representation on Ubisoft's board since early last year. It also abstained from voting on resolutions at Ubisoft's 2016 shareholder meeting. The French media company's interest in Ubisoft stems in part from its ambition to grow in videogames, an industry closely tied to movies and theme parks.

Ubisoft has said it wants to remain independent. It has expressed concerns about a loss of shareholder value resulting from Vivendi's involvement in the company.

On Friday, Vivendi said that it abstained from a vote to approve a resolution to authorize the allocation of free shares to employees, although it supports the resolution.

It complained that a "complete lack of transparency from the family shareholders is depriving the company of significant support in its development and of proven expertise in the fields of media and entertainment."

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Ubisoft was unable to comment immediately.

Write to Max Bernhard at Max.Bernhard@dowjones.com; @mxbernhard

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 22, 2017 12:54 ET (16:54 GMT)