Tencent Reportedly Aims to Become Largest Ubisoft Shareholder

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Tencent is trying to become the single largest shareholder in Ubisoft, per a Reuters report published Thursday.

Tencent already owns around 5% of Ubisoft, but the Chinese conglomerate now hopes to hold a greater stake than that of the founding Guillemot family, which is currently the majority stakeholder at a 15% stake. The other 80% of shares are publicly owned.

Reuters reports Tencent could offer up to $102 per share to buy its new shares, which would be a huge increase in price over the $68 per share it paid for its 5% stake in 2018. Considering Ubisoft shares have been trading at around $45 per share, it's also a significant premium that approaches the stock's historical price ceiling of $110, set in 2018.

Tencent has reportedly submitted a non-binding term sheet to the Guillemot family to review.

The Guillemot family has run Ubisoft since its founding, and has fended off more than one attempt to wrest control of the company. It famously defeated a hostile takeover bid by Vivendi in 2016. But CEO Yves Guillemot has appeared more open to such deals of late, saying in May the company would consider all acquisition offers despite having the capacity to remain independent.

That same month, reports indicated the Guillemot family considered partnering with a private equity firm to buy Ubisoft and avoid losing control of the company.

Tencent and Ubisoft declined to comment on Reuters' report, and representatives for the Guillemot family could not be reached for comment.