Ubisoft has announced a new partnership between Tencent and Guillemot Brothers Limited, which will see the Chinese tech corporation invest £259 million in the company. As part of their stock purchase, Tencent has become a part of the Guillemot family concert, who collectively own 29.9% of game developer and publisher Ubisoft.
Although Tencent has received 5% of the voting rights in the Guillemot family concert (or GBL), Ubisoft has confirmed in a document released by the company that “Ubisoft’s governance is unchanged, and the Guillemot family retains exclusive control of Guillemot Brothers Limited”. Tencent will not receive a seat on the board of directors, and as such will have no formal operational power or ability to veto decisions.
Ubisoft’s board of directors has given Tencent the go ahead to increase its shares in Ubisoft from 4.5% to just under 10%, however, under the understanding that the multinational technology and entertainment conglomerate cannot sell shares for five years, or increase its stake any further for eight years. Ubisoft has had to stave off several hostile takeover attempts by companies like Vivendi within the last few years, so it’s no surprise that they would make this sort of stipulation on a stock purchase deal with such a big company.
“The expansion of the concert with Tencent further reinforces Ubisoft’s core shareholding around its founders and provides the company with the stability essential for its long-term development,” said Ubisoft CEO and GBL director Yves Guillemot.
“In a context where platforms and business models are converging, this transaction, which validates our strategy and highlights the strong intrinsic value of the assets we have built over the long term, is excellent news for our teams, gamers and shareholders.”