Divestment will complete on schedule; Ubisoft breathes collective sigh of relief

The saga of Vivendi and Ubisoft’s fractious relationship has been winding down for a while, but now we have an end date for everything: March 5, 2019.

As part of Ubisoft’s efforts to protect itself from a Vivendi takeover, the publisher repurchased its own shares, as well as taking investment from the Ontario Teachers’ Public Equities division and Chinese giga-firm Tencent. As a result of the moves, Vivendi announced it would sell off all its shares in Ubisoft.

Said sales now have a final date on them, with March 5 being set in stone for Vivendi to rid itself of the 6.7 per cent or so of Ubisoft shares it still owns. Sales of Vivendi’s shares will be staggered, with 0.91 per cent being sold October 1, and the remaining (roughly) 5.74 per cent sold on the March 5 divesture deadline set between the two companies.

The total value of the shares is set at around €500 million (£444m), with sales pre-agreed at €66 (£58.60) per share.

As part of the agreement, Vivendi has stated it will refrain from purchasing any shares in Ubisoft for the next five years. Until March of this year, Vivendi owned 27.3 per cent of Ubisoft’s total shares and fears were still rife within the French publisher that it would be subjected to a hostile takeover.

Said fears were allayed with the aforementioned investments from Canada and China, and the journey to divestment will be over soon enough.

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