Tencent tightens grip on ‘Assassin’s Creed’ maker Ubisoft

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By Tassilo Hummel and Mathieu Rosemain

PARIS (Reuters) -Chinese tech giant Tencent is tightening its grip on Ubisoft in a deal valuing France’s biggest video game maker more than 10 billion euros amid a wave of buyouts in the industry.

Ubisoft said in a statement that Tencent will buy a 49.9% stake with 5% voting rights in Guillemot Brothers Limited, the holding company of the Guillemot family who founded Ubisoft in 1986. As part of the deal, the Chinese company has the right to raise its direct stake in Ubisoft to 9.99% from 4.5% currently.

Tencent’s investment in Guillemot Brothers Limited, which owns the bulk of the 15% stake the family holds in Ubisoft, amounts to 300 million euros ($297.3 million), at an implied valuation of 80 euros per Ubisoft share.

The deal thus values the whole of Ubisoft at more than 10 billion euros ($9.91 billion), as the group’s shares closed at less than 44 euros each on Tuesday.

“Tencent is a key shareholder partner for many of the industry’s leaders, who have created some of the most outstanding video games,” Chief Executive Officer Yves Guillemot said.

“This transaction reinforces our ability to create strong value over the coming years,” he added.

($1 = 1.0091 euros)

($1 = 1.0093 euros)

(Reporting by Tassilo Hummel and Mathieu Rosemain, editing by Silvia Aloisi)

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