Ubisoft announced today that Vivendi will sell its entire stake in the company, bringing an end to years worth of concerns of a hostile takeover.
As part of the deal, Vivendi's shares, which make up 27.3 percent of Ubisoft's share capital, will be sold to multiple buyers. Ubisoft itself and CEO Yves Guillemot's Guillemot Brothers SE will purchase a portion of Vivendi's shares. The transaction will also see an investment by two new long-term investors: Chinese conglomerate Tencent and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. Tencent's investment is also part of a "strategic partnership that will significantly accelerate the reach of Ubisoft franchises in China in the coming years," Ubisoft says.
Speaking on the transaction, Ubisoft CEO and co-founder Yves Guillemot said:
The move puts to rest fears of a hostile takeover by Vivendi that have hung over Ubisoft for some time. In early 2017, rumors surfaced that Vivendi was considering expanding its stake in Ubisoft in order to force an unsolicited takeover bid. In November, Vivendi said that it had no plans to pursue a hostile takeover for the next six months, leaving the possibility of a bid open for later in 2018.
One particularly interesting part of today's news is Tencent's investment. Based in China, Tencent is a fast-growing player in the gaming space, with its weight behind everything from League of Legends and Clash of Clans to PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite developer Epic. Its partnership with Ubisoft could help the company further break into the Chinese market with its big franchises, such as Far Cry and The Division.
Get the Windows Central Newsletter
All the latest news, reviews, and guides for Windows and Xbox diehards.