Tencent wants to expand its ownership of Assassin’s Creed publisher Ubisoft, with the long-term goal of becoming the company’s largest shareholder.
Chinese game company Tencent It has made headlines over the past few years for aggressively expanding into international markets. It acquired stakes, including a 5% stake, in several game developers and publishers in the U.S. and Europe. Assassin’s Creed and skull and bones Publisher Ubisoft.
However, Tencent seems no longer satisfied with a small share of the French company. The Chinese gaming giant is reportedly looking to increase its stake in Ubisoft, with the long-term goal of becoming the company’s largest single shareholder.
Four anonymous sources recently provided information about the ongoing deal, Reuters reported. According to them, Tencent is in talks with the family of Ubisoft founder Guillemot, which owns a 15 percent stake in the company. Tencent reportedly offered 100 euros ($101.84) per share, while in 2018 they bought their current 5% stake in Ubisoft for 66 euros ($67.59) per share. Tencent is also trying to acquire more shares from private shareholders who own 80 percent of Ubisoft.
Tencent and Guillemots have yet to finalize a deal, which could change, according to sources close to the talks. It’s unclear how many shares Tencent is willing to buy, or what percentage of Ubisoft’s stock the company wants to acquire overall. Neither Tencent nor Ubisoft was willing to answer questions about the deal, and Reuters could not reach Guillemots for questions. However, one source pointed out that Tencent’s offer is much higher than Ubisoft’s current share price to prevent competition. In addition, Tencent executives reportedly flew to France to discuss acquisitions with the Guillemot family, who opposed Ubisoft’s previous acquisition attempts.
Two Reuters sources also noted that the aggressive offer is part of Tencent’s move to acquire premium independent game studios.Company acquires majority stake racial conflict Developer Supercell owns 9% at $8.6 billion in 2016 Elite Dangerous Developer Frontier Developments, and has stakes in US video game developers Epic Games and Riot Games.Tencent also plans to acquire Repression 3 Developer Sumo Digital reportedly received $1.3 billion.
Tencent’s overseas expansion may be partly driven by domestic pressure. Tencent’s revenue from China fell 1% last quarter, while international revenue rose 4%. The company is also battling Chinese regulators, which froze new game licenses last year. Even though the moratorium ended in April, the Chinese government has yet to grant Tencent any new licenses. In this case, it’s no surprise that Tencent might want to broaden its horizons.
MORE: Rainbow Six Siege’s modified mute protocol is a unique take on gun game mode