Ubi readies $1.2bn acquisition warchest

Ubi readies $1.2bn acquisition warchest
Michael French

By Michael French

June 2nd 2008 at 6:55AM

French publisher CEO looks to 'rapidly' grow company via various means including films, licences and development deals

Yves Guillemot, CEO of Ubisoft, has said that the firm must "continue to grow at a rapid pace in the years to come" to remain competitive - revealing he has up to 780m Euros (or $1.2bn) to spend on acquiring studios or publishers which will grow the company.

Speaking to Les Echos, Guillemot said that Ubisoft is saving up the funds as it watches rivals Activision and Vivendi merge while EA attempts to buy Take Two. To make sure the firm isn't left behind, Ubisoft is also prepared to buy companies that will maintain its rapid growth.

The firm has grown its studio business significantly over the past year, pushing into Asia and Eastern Europe, while targeting further growth at its Montreal studio.

Guillemot added that the company was broadening its focus to help grow its business by moving into new games genres - and plans to license more properties for other games while pursuing deals with external developers.

He also reiterated previously announced plans that the wider remit will include a move towards producing CG films. The company will start with 'mini' series that are related to its games franchises before working up to full feature-length productions ready for when the next generation of consoles rolls around.