China’s largest game publisher adds Ubisoft to its massive portfolio
Ubisoft's protracted financial battle with French media company Vivendi ended on Tuesday with a surprise announcement: effective immediately, Vivendi is out of Ubisoft's financial picture. In order to retain its corporate structure, Vivendi's shares in the company have been bought up—and one of the biggest buyers, as it turns out, is major Chinese gaming publisher Tencent.
The other buyers involved include Ubisoft itself, which has bought up the majority of Vivendi's former shares, along with the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. Vivendi, which formerly owned a whopping 27.3 percent stake in Ubisoft, has additionally pledged not to buy any Ubisoft stock for the next five years.
Tuesday's news ends a 2.5-year attempt by Vivendi to brute-force its way to owning a majority of Ubisoft through stock acquisition. That hostile takeover attempt, in part, forced Ubisoft co-founder Michel Guillemot to resign from Ubisoft-affiliated mobile-game publisher Gameloft in 2016.