Tencent boosts stake in Ubisoft

Chinese gaming giant Tencent moved to double its stake in France-based Ubisoft Entertainment, with plans to acquire a passive minority stake in holding company Guillemot Brothers.

Tencent will spend €200 million for a 49.9 per cent interest in Guillemot Brothers, raising its indirect stake in Ubisoft from 4.5 per cent to 9.99 per cent. It also will invest €100 million in the holding company, and provide a long-term unsecured loan to refinance its debt and additional financial resources which can be used to acquire equity in the games publisher.

Yves Guillemot, CEO and co-founder of Ubisoft, explained in a statement the deal reinforces its core shareholding around its founders and provides the company with the “stability essential for its long-term development”.

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Tencent president Martin Lau stated the Ubisoft team has shown “an impressive ability to consistently create world-class entertainment” along with a diverse portfolio of brands.

He noted Ubisoft offers a portfolio of immersive gaming and is working to bring some of its biggest titles to mobile.

Tencent can’t sell its shares in Ubisoft for five years or increase its stake in the company’s capital and voting rights beyond 9.99 per cent for eight years.