Assassin’s Creed publisher could see Tencent take over

An assassin from Assassin's Creed stretches out his arm with a dagger in both.

picture: Ubisoft

Tencent appears to be doubling its investment in Ubisoft. While it already owns 5 percent of Assassin’s Creed Publisher, Reuters reports now The Chinese mega-conglomerate with huge investments across the gaming industry aims to become Ubisoft’s largest single shareholder. His plan to achieve that? Pay twice the stock’s value and buy some directly from the Guillemot family.

“Tencent is very committed to completing the deal as Ubisoft is such an important strategic asset for Tencent,” a source said Reuters. Tencent and Ubisoft have already partnered to bring the latter’s games to China, and the goal of this new deal is reportedly to be to help Tencent bring its games to a global audience. It was too over a year since the company got a new license to publish a game in China.

kotaku previously reported sources that Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has been proposed was looking for an off ramp amid the recent turmoil and departures at the company. A hedgehoglongtime colleagues have left or were forced to resign, and Guillemot’s own son Charlie, moved on last year Co-founder of a fantasy sports NFT startup. A deal like this would be one way to ease the transition.

for that to happen Reuters reports that Tencent is willing to pay up to $104 per share, more than double what Ubisoft stock is currently worth. Some of those shares would come directly from the Guillemot family, who founded Ubisoft in 1986 and currently own about 15 percent of it. Others would come from the rest of the public, which is about 80 percent. Tencent already owns 5 percent of the company, but would need to increase that stake significantly to surpass the Guillemot family as the largest single shareholder.

Tencent’s current 5 percent stake was part of a 2018 deal in which it helped the publisher fend off a hostile takeover attempt by French media conglomerate Vivendi. At the time, Tencent was prohibited from increasing its ownership. However, that restriction expired earlier this year. Reuters reports that Tencent executives visited the Guillemot family in May to outline what a potential deal would look like. Bloomberg previously reported in April that private equity firms were also interested in Ubisoftwhich helped the stock price recover at the time.

All of these moves follow a frenzy of mergers and acquisitions in the video game space. Microsoft announced it will buy Activision Blizzard for $69 billion in January. Sony bought destiny 2 Manufacturer Bungie shortly thereafter for over 3.6 billion US dollars. And Take-Two bought Zynga for $12.7 billion.

Consolidation for all has many wondering who will be next, and Ubisoft has been one of the prime suspects. It has an extensive catalog of important franchises, including Assassin’s Creed, Distant screamand Rainbow Six, but has also been struggling to fulfill some of them lately. Delays, duds, and turnover at many senior teams have left Ubisoft with a relatively paltry lineup of projects for the next year. And due to global market conditions, Yves Guillemot, in a recent email, encouraged employees to cut spending wherever possible.

Tencent has also struggled recently, particularly in China’s domestic market, where regulatory hurdles have delayed new releases. The conglomerate lost tens of billions the admission stop only begins to thaw earlier this yearalthough not for Tencent.

Ubisoft would be far from Tencent’s only major investment in the global gaming space. In addition to its own studios across North America and elsewhere, the conglomerate has continued to snag smaller studios even faster than competitors like Microsoft and Embracer Group. For now, however, it’s still only the second largest gaming company in the world behind Sony. Assassin’s Creed publisher could see Tencent take over

Curtis Crabtree

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