Monday, December 20, 2004

EA ... it keeps growing and growing

Hot on the heels of Electronic Arts' exclusive NFL deal comes news that the software publisher is trying to take over some of its biggest competition. According to a recent EA press release, the company recently acquired about 19.9 percent interest in rival publisher/developer UbiSoft Entertainment. The shares of stock were purchased as a block from Talpa Beheer B.V., and is awaiting final antitrust clearance from the U.S. government. The financial terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

What makes this news even more interesting is that UbiSoft has previously reported a stock float of 69 percent. For those who don't follow the stock market, the "float" is the number of shares available for public trading that aren't owned by the company's management. That means that (if the numbers are correct) UbiSoft management owns a solid 21 percent controlling interest in the company. With EA now purchasing 19.9 percent, it (EA) would only need another 1.2 percent to gain controlling interest of UbiSoft. Considering UbiSoft's impressive library of titles, including the Tom Clancy and Prince of Persia titles, it's not surprising to see EA trying to get their hands on the company. It could be only a matter of time before we see Sam Fisher sneaking around in the neighborhood of the Sims.

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