Vivendi, the entertainment giant behind the Universal Music Group and Dailymotion, kept continuously bought Ubisoft shares since 2015 to the point that it became the company’s largest stakeholder. In Vivendi’s defense, the company said that it was only interested in a seat on Ubisoft’s board, but the video game publisher saw the aggressive purchases as a hostile takeover and kept trying to find ways to cut ties.
It appears that Ubisoft has finally managed to cut ties with Vivendi and will remain a Guillemot family business. Ubisoft got help from (PDF) Tencent, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and other investors.
Ubisoft apparently convinced Vivendi to sell of its 30.5 million stocks (27.3 percent of Ubisoft’s share capital) and agreed to not acquire any within the next five years. For Tencent, it has agreed to purchase 5.6 million shares at US$81 each, and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has committee to purchase 3.8 million. Ubisoft considers both as long-term investors, but their purchase of the company’s stock will not grant either of them a seat on the board. For Ubisoft itself, it will be buying millions of its own shares and selling millions more to different investors.
So why exactly is Vivendi agreeing to the deal? Well, it’s because they’re getting around $2.47 billion from this deal, which is more than double the $919 million it paid for Ubisoft’s stocks over the past few years. Though Vivendi is making some serious cash from this deal, Ubisoft most likely doesn’t mind.