Vivendi Sells All Ubisoft Shares as Tencent Joins in For Long-Term Investment


Ubisoft fans were worried over the past few years after Vivendi, a French media conglomerate, repeatedly purchased stock in the gaming company. But now Vivendi plans to sell its entire stake in the company, ending the alleged hostile takeover attempt, according to a Ubisoft press release.

The news comes after Ubisoft signed an agreement with Vivendi, dividing 30,489,300 shares (or 27.3 percent of Ubisoft’s share capital) between Ubisoft itself, the company’s two new investors, and the Guillemot family’s company, Guillemot Brothers SE. Only 8,988,741 shares from Vivendi’s stake will remain unacquired, and those will be sold at €66 per share.

In total, Vivendi is receiving €2 billion, or approximately $2.45 billion USD, now that the deal is complete, according to GamesBeat. Vivendi will not be able to buy Ubisoft shares for five years under the agreement.

While Vivendi is exiting the stage, two new investors are coming in and obtaining some of Vivendi’s stake in Ubisoft: The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan will receive a 3.4 percent hold in the company’s shares, and Tencent will gain 5 percent. That translates to 3,787,878 shares for the Teachers’ Pension and 5,591,469 shares for Tencent.

Tencent in particular is walking away with a sizable victory from the agreement. Along with the share purchases, Ubisoft and Tencent are entering into a “strategic partnership,” letting Ubisoft bring its games over to China with Tencent’s help. Tencent, meanwhile, will not serve on Ubisoft’s board of directors, nor will it transfer shares or increase its share ownership and voting rights within the company.

“The evolution in our shareholding is great news for Ubisoft,” Ubisoft CEO and co-founder Yves Guillemot said in a press release obtained by The OP. “It was made possible thanks to the outstanding execution of our strategy and the decisive support of Ubisoft talents, players and shareholders. I would like to warmly thank them all.”

Guillemot particularly focused on Tencent, explaining how the company’s new investor will enable Ubisoft “to accelerate its development in China in the coming years and fully leverage a market with great potential.”

“Today, Ubisoft is fully reaping the benefits of our long-term strategy and the successful transformation towards a more recurring and profitable business,” Guillemot concluded. “Ubisoft is perfectly positioned to capture the numerous video game growth drivers in the coming years.”