Ubisoft president Yves Guillemot can finally relax.
The French video game company signed an agreement on Tuesday with Vivendi for that company to sell all 30,489,300 shares of Ubisoft. The move seems to bring to a conclusion Vivendi's years long interest in wresting control away from Ubisoft through a possible hostile takeover.
At stake was, on the one hand, Vivendi's desire to gain some control over the operations and direction of Ubisoft starting in 2016, and on the other, the publisher's long-standing desire to remain independent.
In 2016, Guillemot told the Wall Street Journal that he wouldn't relax while Vivendi still had any shares in the company. At the time Vivendi owned 23 percent of the company. Under French law, the amount of stock a person or company can hold is capped at 30 percent. If that amount passes the 30 percent mark, they are obliged to launch a public offer on the company.
The agreement announced Tuesday has a number of groups purchasing up the more than 30 million shares including two investor groups, a share buy-back by Ubisoft and China's Tencent, which also owns part of Epic Games and all of League of Legends developer Riot Games.Following the deal, Vivendi will no longer hold any shares in Ubisoft, and has committed not to acquire any shares in Ubisoft for 5 years, according to a press release.
Interestingly, part of the deal also has Ubisoft and Tencent, which now owns 5.6 million shares of Ubisoft, forming a strategic partnership that will "significantly accelerate the reach of Ubisoft franchises in China in the coming years."
CEO and founder Guillemot calls the deal great news in a prepared statement.
"The investment from new long-term shareholders in Ubisoft demonstrates their trust in our future value creation potential, and Ubisoft’s share buy-back will be accretive to all shareholders," he said. "Finally, the new strategic partnership agreement we signed will enable Ubisoft to accelerate its development in China in the coming years and fully leverage a market with great potential.”