Vivendi gives up trying to snatch up Ubisoft
Ubisoft is a renowned video-game publisher based in Rennes, France. The company was founded by the Guillemot brothers in 1986 (as Ubi Soft) and has been involved with the development and/or publication of an impressive list of games: Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, Rayman and the Tom Clancy-branded series, just to name a few. Vivendi started purchasing shares in the independent game publisher at a rapid rate; by the end of 2016 the media giant controlled 25.15% of the share capital and 22.92% of the voting rights. Ubisoft’s chairman, Yves Guillemot, considered this behavior by Vivendi to be a sign of an attempt at a hostile takeover.
However, it has been reported that Vivendi will now sell all of its Ubisoft shares, valued at 2 billion Euros (~US$2.45 billion). These shares are expected to be bought up partially by various investors and partially through an Ubisoft buy-back. One of the new significant investors will be the Chinese conglomerate Tencent. A financial partnership with Tencent should give the French publisher an important entry into the extraordinarily lucrative Chinese video-game market, which is worth in excess of US$25 billion.