The Chinese Tencent is strengthened within the French video game champion Ubisoft

The Chinese Tencent is strengthened within the French video game champion Ubisoft

The Chinese Tencent is strengthened within the French video game champion Ubisoft

Yves Guillemot, CEO of Ubisoft, in Los Angeles, June 10, 2019.

In the big maneuvers that shake the gaming sector, driven by a series of acquisitions, the French Ubisoft was one of the most visible targets. However, it is her current position as an independent that the French company has managed to consolidate, signing a new agreement with its main shareholder, Tencent, on Tuesday, September 6.

Specifically, the Chinese group is investing 300 million euros in the holding Guillemot Brothers, the main shareholder of Ubisoft, owned by the Guillemot brothers, founders of Ubisoft (200 million euros for the acquisition of shares and 100 million based on an increase of capital). He now owns 49.9% of the shares. In addition, the video game giant has granted a long-term loan to the holding company to refinance its debt.

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Despite this move, Tencent’s room for maneuver remains limited. In the short term, it will not be able to increase its stake in Ubisoft beyond 9.99% of the share capital (against the current 4.5%) and waives, for the moment, to take power within the board of directors. Thus, at the end of this agreement, the Guillemot family will be able to remain in charge of the company for eight years. Better, the negotiation was made on a calculation of a price of the title of 80 euros, almost double the Ubisoft title currently. “It’s an agreement between friends, based on negotiations that must have lasted several months”believes Julien Pillot, professor-researcher at the Institute of Advanced Economic and Commercial Studies.

“A vote of confidence”

“This pact aims to give stability to the group and employees and to show that the Guillemot family is involved in the long term. This is also a vote of confidence from Tencent we explain at the top of the company. “Nothing changes” in governance, it integrates another source in the company. “The family has increased its control”, we add. At best, we internally agree that the transaction will allow it “to strengthen ties in the future”, precisely those that have been linked for four years between the two companies.

The Chinese had entered the capital of Ubisoft in 2018, thanks to the withdrawal of Vivendi from the French company. If the separation made it possible to turn the page on the tumultuous relations with the multinational, it above all allowed Ubisoft to gain a foothold in the Chinese market and to find a partner specialized in the mobile games sector, on which until then it had little weight. .

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On the catalog side, Ubisoft has no shortage of cards in its game, with successful licenses such as Assassin’s Creed, Tom Clancy, just dance, prince of Persia Where is it Watchdogs, the French firm is one of the most important in the sector. It also benefits from one of the biggest creative forces in the industry, with teams rooted in Europe, America and Asia.

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