Tencent Reportedly Wants to Become Ubisoft’s Biggest Shareholder – IGN
Chinese gaming giant Tencent Holdings wants to buy more of Ubisoft, and even become its biggest single shareholder.
A new report from Reuters reveals that Tencent, the largest social network and gaming company in China, revealed the news. “Tencent Holdings Ltd plans to raise its stake in French video game group Ubisoft Entertainment SA as the Chinese gaming giant pivots to the global gaming market,” revealed independent sources.
Tencent acquired a 5% stake in Ubisoft back in 2018 after tensions between Ubisoft and investor Vivendi bubbled over, resulting in Vivendi selling all of its shares and agreeing not to purchase a stake in the company for at least five years.
Now, Tencent is looking to expand its reach and has reportedly reached out to the family of Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot to express interest in increasing its stake in the company. At the moment, it’s unclear how much of Ubisoft that Tencent intends to purchase.
However, recent reports that Ubisoft was being targeted for acquisition could mean that the Chinese company intends to go big. Quite how big remains to be seen, but Ubisoft is currently valued at $5.3 billion while the Guillemot family owns a 15% stake in the business. That puts the Guillemot stake at around $795 million.
It’s said that Tencent could offer up to 100 euros per share to acquire its additional stake – a big step up from its previous purchase, in which it paid 66 euros per share. Additionally, sources confirmed that Tencent intends to acquire shares from public shareholders in order to become the largest stakeholder in the company. Ubisoft’s share price surged 15% after the news was announced by Reuters.
Speaking on a recent earnings call, CEO Yves Guillemot said that Ubisoft was open to reviewing offers to buy the company, and neither confirmed nor denied it had been approached by potential buyers.
Xbox’s purchase of Activision Blizzard set them back $68.7 billion and is set to be one of the biggest deals in the games industry. And with Sony’s purchase of Bungie, it’s easy to see why Chinese giants such as Tencent want to get in on the action.
Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.