Ubisoft entertain: Chinese giant Tencent strengthens as Ubisoft shareholder

Ubisoft entertain: Chinese giant Tencent strengthens as Ubisoft shareholder

Ubisoft entertain: Chinese giant Tencent strengthens as Ubisoft shareholder

(BFM Bourse) – The video game publisher announced Tuesday evening that the Chinese group had acquired 49.9% of Guillemot Brothers Limited, the holding company of the Guillemot family, for € 300 million. Tencent could also increase its direct stake in Ubisoft to 9.99%.

Ubisoft does not switch to the Tencent stock exchange. But the Chinese giant indirectly strengthens itself in the capital of the French video game publisher and now has free rein for more than double its direct stake.

The French group announced on Tuesday in a statement released after the stock exchange that Tencent had acquired 49.9% of Guillemot Brothers, the holding company of the Guillemot founding family, a holding qualified as “passive” by the company. Tencent will also have 5% of the voting rights.

A premium of almost 100%

The Chinese group is putting 300 million euros on the table to take this minority stake, at the rate of 200 million euros in purchases of securities sold by the family and 100 million euros as part of a capital increase.

This was done on the basis of a Ubisoft share value of € 80 per share, which is almost double Tuesday’s closing price of € 43.5.

“Guillemot Brothers Limited remains solely controlled by the Guillemot family. Tencent will not be represented on the board of directors and will have no operational approval or veto rights,” the company said in a statement.

In parallel with this transaction, the board of directors authorized Tencent to increase its direct stake in the video game publisher from 4.5% to 9.99%.

“Tencent will not be able to sell its Ubisoft shares for 5 years (and beyond that it will give the Guillemot family a priority right) and will not be able to increase its stake in Ubisoft beyond 9.99% of the capital and the vote of Ubisoft before 8 years, “said the game publisher.

A concert with almost 25% of the voting rights

The Chinese group has also granted a loan to Guillemot Brothers Limited which allows the holding both to refinance its debt and to have “additional financial resources that can be used to increase the capital of Ubisoft”, the company specifies.

Adding both the stake held directly by the Guillemot family directly and through Guillemot Borthers and that of Tencent, the concert now formed by the Guillemots and the Chinese group will have 19.8% of the capital and 24.9% of the voting rights.

This gig can go up to 29.9% of the capital or voting rights, the company said.

“As a result of this transaction, Ubisoft’s governance is preserved identically and Tencent will have no operational veto rights,” the company said.

“The extension of the concert with Tencent strengthens the anchoring of Ubisoft’s core holding around its founders and provides it with essential stability for its long-term development,” commented Yves Guillemot, President and CEO of Ubisoft. , quoted in a press release.

Tencent had entered the Ubisoft capital in 2018 and the press had previously reported the Chinese group’s willingness to strengthen itself in Ubisoft.

Julien Marion – © 2022 BFM Stock Exchange

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