Tencent to publish Ubisoft's biggest games in China

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After years of stories about hostile takeovers and the acquisitions of shares, Vivendi has agreed to sell its entire 27.3 per cent stake in Ubisoft.

Ontario Teachers' has committed to acquire 3,787,878 Ubisoft shares (3.4% of capital), equivalent to approximately €250 million and Tencent has committed to acquire 5,591,469 Ubisoft shares (5.0% of capital). Ubisoft considers them both as long-term investors, but their purchase won't grant them a seat in the publisher's board.

Back in October, Ubisoft bought back 4 million of its own shares in an attempt to ward off a takeover from Vivendi.


Ending a bitter battle with the Guillemot brothers to take over Ubisoft, Vivendi has unloaded its majority stake in the Paris-based video game powerhouse for €2 billion ($2.4 billion).

The remainder of Vivendi's shares, just under 9 million representing 8 percent of capital, are slated to be sold at a price of €66 (~$81) per share.

"Today, Ubisoft is fully reaping the benefits of our long-term strategy and the successful transformation towards a more recurring and profitable business".


As Guillemot mentioned, the partnership with Tencent also aims to "significantly accelerate the reach of Ubisoft franchises in China in the coming years". "It was made possible thanks to the outstanding execution of our strategy and the decisive support of Ubisoft talents, players and shareholders".

In a surprising turn of events and a tense few years, Vivendi has finally backed down and will be selling its shares in the games company. Sounds to me like they have a vested interest in not setting quite as much homework... "We are focused more than ever on delivering on our strategic plan". Tencent promises not to transfer its share, nor increase its share ownership and voting rights within Ubisoft.

On top of breaking free from Vivendi, Ubisoft has made a massive business move that will ensure great success for the company outside. With that said, it will not simply replace Vivendi's threatening position within Ubisoft. "Tencent manages the largest online games community in China and one of the largest, most active social networks in the world, so this deal should help us dramatically increase our games' exposure and engagement in China", Guillemot said.


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