Tencent has invested $300 million in Guillemot Bros, the company run by Ubisoft's co-founders and who control the largest stake in the company. As a result Tencent now holds a 49.9 per cent stake in the company.
This follows reports last month that Tencent was seeking to increase its existing stake in Ubisoft through fresh investments, seeking to become the single largest shareholder of the company.
As part of the deal, Tencent has options to increase its direct stake in Ubisoft to 9.9 per cent, compared to the previously reported 4.5 per cent. It will not be able to increase its stake further for eight years.
Tencent can’t sell its stock for five years, and is also giving Guillemot Bros a loan to refinance its debt.
In addition, Tencent has gained five per cent voting rights in Guillemot Bros, however, it will not be represented on the company’s board of directors, or gain veto rights over the business. This means that the Guillemot Bros stake of Ubisoft could now reach 29.9%, which - when combined with Tencent - could allow the two to own the vast bulk of Ubisoft stock while leaving the Guillemot family in control of the board.
“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 co-founder 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. Tencent is a key shareholder partner for many of the industry’s leaders, who have created some of the most outstanding video games. This transaction reinforces our ability to create strong value over the coming years.”
Following the deal, Tencent is planning to bring several Ubisoft PC titles to China, as well as develop mobile titles based on AAA franchises.
Last month, we listed Tencent as number eight on our list of the Top 50 Mobile Game Makers of 2022.