Ubisoft breaks free from Vivendi - Mobile World Live

Ubisoft breaks free from Vivendi

21 MAR 2018

Vivendi conceded defeat in a bid to acquire games company Ubisoft, agreeing to sell a 27.3 per cent stake it built up over the last three years in a deal worth about $2.45 billion.

The French media company faced fierce opposition to attempts to gain seats on Ubisoft’s board of directors from the game company’s founding Guillemot family. The clan’s opposition was perhaps galvanised by losing a similar fight with Vivendi over Gameloft, another gaming company founded by the family which Vivendi acquired in 2016.

In a statement, Ubisoft said Vivendi had agreed a “full exit from Ubisoft’s share capital” after which the France-based company “will no longer hold any shares” in the gaming outfit. Furthermore, Vivendi “committed not to acquire any shares in Ubisoft for five years”.

Yves Guillemot, CEO and co-founder, said: “Ubisoft is perfectly positioned to capture the numerous video game growth drivers in the coming years. We are focused more than ever on delivering on our strategic plan.”

The deal will see 8 per cent of Vivendi’s stake bought back by Ubisoft, with the remainder sold to other parties including the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (3.4 per cent) and Chinese tech giant Tencent (5 per cent).

As part of the transaction, Ubisoft and Tencent also announced a strategic partnership which will “significantly accelerate the reach of Ubisoft franchises in China in the coming years.”

Tencent already owns League of Legends maker Riot Games, holds a stake in Epic Games and the Chinese publishing rights to popular game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.


Saleha Riaz

Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters - creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews...More

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