Vivendi's Hostile Takeover Of Ubisoft Is Over And We Couldn't Be Happier

Ubisoft ends 2.5-year takeover bid by allying with Chinese titan Tencent

Vivendi built up a stake in Ubisoft, publisher of popular titles like Just Dance and action game Assassin's Creed, which threatened the Guillemot family's control of the firm as they no longer owned a majority of shares.

For the last several years there have been constant ongoing stories about Vivendi looking to get back into the AAA publishing game by taking over the French outfit owned by the Guillemot brothers, Ubisoft.

When French media conglomerate Vivendi turned its eyes toward Ubisoft a couple of years ago, I thought for sure that Ubisoft was hosed. "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". Vivendi owned 30,489,300 shares in the company and these have been bought at a price of €66 per share.

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My favourite part of this announcement is that Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan are also buying some of the shares, meaning that school teachers' pensions will be partially dependent on the kids they teach playing video games. With the impending takeover, Ubisoft was looking to do whatever they could to battle Vivendi and stay afloat while their fans rallied behind them. "We are fortunate to have a fantastic partner in Tencent, and look forward to continuing to work with them to deliver great gaming and entertainment experiences for Chinese players". Ubisoft and Tencent have signed a partnership created to significantly accelerate the reach of Ubisoft titles in China over the coming years.

As Guillemot mentioned, the partnership with Tencent also aims to "significantly accelerate the reach of Ubisoft franchises in China in the coming years". The progressive buy-back of the shares will be from 2019 to 2021, bolstering Ubisoft as a company. Tencent has acquired 5,591,469 Ubisoft shares, or 5.0% of its share capital. It interests me, it also makes me happy that Ubisoft is not being run down in the background with threats any longer and can focus exclusively on it's games and its structure. Importantly, the deal will not grant Tencent a place on Ubisoft's board of directors, and it agreed that it will not transfer its shares or seek to increase its stake in the company, thereby ensuring that Ubisoft doesn't end up trading one undesired suitor for another.

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