Tencent has bid to acquire ‘full ownership’ of Funcom.
The Chinese megacorp already owns a hefty 29 per cent stake of the Norweigian developer, but according to a statement from the studio (thanks, PC Gamer), Tencent has announced a voluntary cash offer to acquire all shares.
Shareholders can vote to either accept or reject the offer during the offer period, which is expected to commence next month. According to a statement from the company, Funcom’s management board and supervisory board “have unanimously decided to recommend shareholders to accept the offer”, and believes the intended acquisition will not affect planned changes to Funcom management, staffing, or structure, and the company will remain “an independent business”.
“We have had a great relationship with Tencent as our largest shareholder so far and we are excited about this opportunity,” said Funcom CEO, Rui Casais, in a statement. “We will continue to develop great games that people all over the world will play, and we believe that the support of Tencent will take Funcom to the next level. Tencent will provide Funcom with operational leverage and insights from its vast knowledge as the leading company in the game space.”
“We are impressed by Funcom’s strengths as a developer of open-world multiplayer, action and survival games,” said Tencent Senior Vice President Steven Ma. “We are glad to deepen our relationship with Funcom and look forward to collaborating with Funcom to deliver more exciting and enjoyable game experiences to fans worldwide.”
Tencent has stakes in a number of US and European development studios, most recently Supercell and Sharkmob, as well partnerships with companies like The Pokemon Company, Razer, and Nintendo. It also has stakes in Activision Blizzard and Fortnite developer, Epic Games.
Tencent also recently acquired a 10 per cent share of Sumo Group, the parent company of Crackdown 3 and LittleBigPlanet 3 developer Sumo Digital, and PlatinumGames also recently announced it had received an undisclosed investment from Tencent. In a brief press statement on the official website, Plantinum president and CEO Kenichi Sato assured fans that the partnership would have “no effect on the independence of [the] company” and intimated the investment will be used to expand the developer’s self-publishing activities.