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Vivendi to exit Ubisoft’s capital as Tencent enters the game

The Ubisoft vs Vivendi saga has come to an end as Ubisoft announced yesterday that it has reached an agreement with the entertainment giant which will lead to Vivendi selling its entire stake in Ubisoft.

Vivendi currently owns 27.3 per cent of Ubisoft’s share capital, which equals to 30,489,300 shares. The agreement will see the arrival of two new investors: the Relationship Investing arm of Ontario Teachers’ Public Equities division, which will acquire 3.4 per cent of Ubisoft’s capital, and Tencent, which will acquire five per cent of Ubisoft’s capital. This partnership between Ubisoft and Tencent aims to “significantly accelerate the reach of Ubisoft franchises in China in the coming years,” the announcement said.

Ubisoft will repurchase 8.1 per cent of its own shares (progressively from 2019 to 2021) while Guillemot Brothers SE will acquire 2.7 per cent of the capital. The rest of Vivendi’s stake will be sold.

All transactions will be made at the price of €66 (£57.5) per share.

Ubisoft’s CEO and co-founder Yves Guillemot commented: “The evolution in our shareholding is great news for Ubisoft. 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. The investment from new long-term shareholders in Ubisoft demonstrates their trust in our future value creation potential, and Ubisoft’s share buy-back will be accretive to all shareholders. Finally, the new strategic partnership agreement we signed 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. Ubisoft is perfectly positioned to capture the numerous video game growth drivers in the coming years. We are focused more than ever on delivering on our strategic plan.”

Ubisoft had repurchased 4m of its own shares back in October 2017, as an attempt to prevent Vivendi from taking over the firm as it’s been steadily increasing its stake over the last couple of years. 

About Marie Dealessandri

Marie Dealessandri is MCV’s senior staff writer, having joined the publication during its days as a weekly magazine. After testing the waters of the film industry in France and being a radio host and reporter in Canada, she settled for the games industry in London in 2015. She can be found (very) occasionally tweeting @mariedeal, usually on a loop about Baldur’s Gate, Hollow Knight and the Dead Cells soundtrack.

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