Ubisoft Holds Off Takeover By Vivendi
Ben Sheene / Mar 20th, 2018 No Comments
Ubisoft‘s years-long battle to keep Vivendi from initiating a hostile takeover of the company is finally coming to a close.
The French company behind franchises like Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, and Watch Dogs, Ubisoft has grown into one of the biggest publishers in gaming.
Vivendi, a French conglomerate, spent years buying up a 27.3 percent stake of Ubisoft, nearing the point where many suspected it would soon gain a controlling stake in the company. Vivendi also owned a part of Activision Blizzard before a buyout in 2013. The company will sell all its shares in Ubisoft and has agreed to not acquire any more shares over the next five years. The deal is valued at nearly $2.45 billion, which amounts to over twice of what Vivendi originally paid for the Ubisoft stock.
Tencent was a fundamental component in allowing Ubisoft to be freed from Vivendi’s grip. The Chinese company owns Riot, the studio behind League of Legends and Epic Games, who have found a runaway success in Fortnite; it also has exclusive rights to distribute PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds in China. Tencent and Ubisoft will enter into a partnership where Tencent will help push Ubisoft’s games into the Chinese market.The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan also entered into the agreement as long-term investors.
Yves Guillemot, Ubisoft’s CEO, is also using his own investment firm to support the publisher. Guillemot spent a great deal of effort to court investors in holding back Vivendi. “The evolution in our shareholding is great news for Ubisoft,” said Guillemot. “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.”
Vivendi’s takeover of Ubisoft is one of the more noteworthy pieces of industry drama simply because it has gone on for so long. Ubisoft’s recent output of games has shown a great deal of popularity and growth over time, even if their initial reception was somewhat lukewarm.
Over the past two E3s, there was a definite shift in mood. The company put on a brave face, highlighting its games and the developers behind them. The looming threat of a Vivendi takeover was palpable as Guillemot took to the stage for his closing remarks about bringing the community together. This year, expect much more spring in Ubisoft’s step as they roll out new game announcements.
tags: news , Tencent , ubisoft , vivendi