Tencent, continuing to expand its presence in the global gaming industry, has increased its stake in French publisher Ubisoft via a new partnership with Guillemot Brothers Limited (GBL).
As the name suggests, GBL is an enterprise made up of Ubisoft’s founding family, which holds in the region of 13% of Ubisoft stock. Tencent will invest €300 million ($297 million USD) into GBL, for a huge 49.7% share in the family business. In addition, Tencent will give GBL a long-term loan in order to purchase more stake in Ubisoft. And thus, by proxy, Tencent owns almost half of GBL stock, while GBL now has the cash to purchase up to 29.9% of Ubisoft stock, complete with voting rights.
Rumors have persisted for some time that Ubisoft was looking for a buyer, and that the Guillemot family was considering purchasing the Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry publisher itself. This new partnership deal between GBL and Tencent offers the family resources to make a major claim on Ubisoft ownership which, in turn, will bring stock and revenue back to Tencent.
In addition to the above, as noted by GamesIndustry.biz, Ubisoft has directly offered Tencent the opportunity to increase its own portfolio of the publisher’s stock from 4.5% to a meaty 10%. Though this amount would then be capped for a total of eight years following the purchase. Either way, it makes for a pretty fine deal for the Chinese conglomerate, which has the opportunity to expand its Ubisoft stock both through direct and indirect means simultaneously.
The Ubisoft and GBL transactions can be added to a lengthy list of investments and purchases made by Tencent in recent years. The holding company now owns majority or minority stakes in including developers and publishers such as Activision, Supercell, Epic Games, Remedy, Riot Games, PlatinumGames, Bohemia Interactive, Dontnod Entertainment, Klei Entertainment, Inflexion, Sumo Digital, and Funcom. Just last week, Tencent also teamed with Sony to purchase 30% of FromSoftware.
Tencent increases investment in Ubisoft [GamesIndustry.biz]