Ubisoft has officially formed a partnership with the Chinese internet powerhouse, Tencent. The latter company, which is the owner the widely popular messaging platforms WeChat and QQ, now owns 5% of the video game developer and publisher; and also helped Ubisoft to stop French conglomerate, Vivendi, from continuing its “hostile takeover” of the company.
“We are honored to start this new chapter of our relationship with Ubisoft, and to be able to bring many of Ubisoft’s creative and renowned titles to our Chinese customers,” Martin Lau, president of Tencent said.
As a point of reference; Vivendi currently has a 27.27% stake in Ubisoft, making it the largest shareholder in the latter company. The deal will require Vivendi to sell that portion for a price of 2 billion Euros (~RM9.63 billion). Further, Vivendi will not be allowed to acquire anymore of Ubisoft’s shares for a period of five years following the closing of the transaction.
Tencent isn’t the only long-term investor in this new partnership; the second investor is, surprisingly, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, which is an independent organisation that doles out pensions for approximately 318,000 teachers in the Canadian province. It currently has a 3.4% stake in Ubisoft.
Having said that, the partnership between Ubisoft and the two entities is actually pretty restrictive, if not limited. According to the contract, both companies will not be given a seat on Ubisoft’s board of directors.
In Tencent’s case, the contract prohibits the Chinese company from “transferring its shares or increasing its voting right (or ownership) stake” in Ubisoft. In hindsight, this condition could’ve been put in place to prevent another hostile takeover in the future.
Moving forward, The contract between Ubisoft and Tencent is also a beneficial to both parties, as Ubisoft will seek Tencent’s help in proliferating some of its games into the Chinese gaming market.