Ubisoft denies these claims
Some Ubisoft executives have found themselves in a precarious position after a French stock market regulation committee has accused them of insider trading. Now they’re left to prove that they didn’t offload company shares with knowledge that the price would soon plummet.
As reported by Kotaku, Ubisoft Montreal CEO Yannis Mallat and four other executives are being investigated by The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF). These five all sold portions of their share in Ubisoft in the weeks before October 15, 2013 — the date that both Watch Dogs and The Crew were delayed. As a result of the news, Ubisoft stock dropped approximately 25 percent. The AMF alleges that the executives acted with knowledge of the delays when selling their stock, which would be a textbook example of insider trading.
There will be a hearing in Paris later this month in front of the French sanctions board. Ubisoft vehemently denies the AMF’s allegations and intends to file a motion to dismiss the claims and to seek damages. Ubisoft sent the following quote, in full, to Kotaku:
Ubisoft is aware that an action being brought by the French Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) involves five of our team members. Those individuals vigorously dispute their implication in this matter and the AMF’s interpretation of the facts. Yves Guillemot, Co-Founder and CEO of Ubisoft, does not question the good faith of the people involved and has reassured them that they have his full support and trust.
These proceedings revolve around Ubisoft’s temporary stock market drop in the fall of 2013, after it was announced that Watch Dogs and The Crew would be delayed. The French AMF is alleging that before the announcement the team members in question may have sold securities while being in possession of insider information. The proceedings will continue in November at the Commission des Sanctions (sanctions board) in Paris.
Ubisoft itself has not been charged by the AMF.
Moreover, three of the Canadian team members implicated in the AMF’s action today filed a motion with the Superior Court of Québec demanding that the procedure be declared invalid and seeking damages against AMF France and AMF Québec.