China’s Tencent ups investment in France’s Ubisoft

Chinese tech giant Tencent is partnering with the founders of French games giant Ubisoft via a 300 million euros ($300 million) investment in their holding company, a statement said Tuesday.

Ubisoft said that Tencent was to buy a 49.9 percent stake in the holding company of the Guillemot family which founded the French creator of “Assassin’s Creed” and “Far Cry” among other hit games.

The group was formed in 1986 and initially controlled by five brothers from the Guillemot family whose control via their holding company Guillemot Brothers Limited has been gradually diluted over the years.

Tencent’s investment is set to enable Guillemot Brothers Limited to increase its stake in the publicly listed group to 19.8 percent, giving them 24.9 percent of voting rights, the statement said.

Tencent was reported in August to be looking to increase its stake in Ubisoft, having already purchased 5.0 percent in 2018.

The world’s biggest games maker, owner of Riot Games and Supercell, was said by the Reuters news agency to be interested in buying the Guillemot’s stake directly.

Analysts say the games sector is consolidating with several major acquisitions taking place in recent months, including the purchase of Bungie by Sony.

“Tencent is a key shareholder partner for many of the industry’s leaders, who have created some of the most outstanding video games,” Ubisoft chief executive Yves Guillemot said in the statement on Tuesday. — Agence France-Presse