Tencent plans to increase its stake in Ubisoft Entertainment, the maker of "Assassin's Creed", to make it become the single largest shareholder in the French video game company, Reuters reported, citing sources.
The Chinese social network and gaming has reached out to Ubisoft's founding Guillemot family and expressed interest in increasing its stake in the firm, the sources said.
Tencent could offer up to 100 euros (US$101.84) per share for additional shares from the Guillemot family, which own 15 percent of Ubisoft. It bought a 5% stake in 2018 for 66 euros per share.
In the meantime, Tencent will also seek to acquire shares from Ubisoft's public shareholders to assist it to become the company's single largest shareholder. According to Ubisoft's latest annual report, about 80% of the French company is owned by public shareholders.
Details of the deals are not yet finalized and are subject to change, the sources said.
Tencent, the world's largest game publisher, has invested in or acquired a large number of game studios in recent years. It controls 100% of Riot Games, 40% of Epic Games, 11.5% of Bluehole, the creator of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, 84.3% of Supercell, etc.
With the domestic gaming business under regulatory pressure, Tencent has had to seek growth overseas. Since April, China has given four batches of gaming licenses after a nearly nine-month-long licensing freeze, but Tencent's name didn't show in any of them.
In May, the Shenzhen-headquartered firm reported that domestic game revenue fell 1% in the first quarter, while international game revenue rose 4%.