Ubisoft bids adieu to Gameloft

France-based publisher unloads stake in mobile-game developer for a cool $112 million.

Ubisoft announced this week that it has sold its 18.9 percent ownership share of mobile-game-centric developer Gameloft. The 13,367,923 shares were sold to Calyon, Credit Agricole Group's corporate and investment bank, at 6.08 euros (approximately $8.40) apiece, for a total of around 81.3 million euros (approximately $112 million).

Ubisoft's deal with Calyon was undertaken as an equity swap agreement, where Calyon must sell the shares within 24 months. According to Ubisoft CFO Alain Martine, "this approach enables us to inform the market of our exit strategy and to stagger the market placement of the Gameloft shares."

According to Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, the publisher plans to channel the newly found capital into internal and external growth options. "We have therefore decided to sell our stake in Gameloft in order to focus on Ubisoft's expansion and strengthen our ability to seize all such growth opportunities," said the exec.

The Paris-based publisher most recently teamed with Gameloft on the well-received Prince of Persia Classic, and the two currently stand to collaborate on several other games. Guillemot reiterated his company's commitment to the mobile platform, stating that "Ubisoft and Gameloft will continue their productive collaboration at a purely operational level, particularly concerning the utilization of Ubisoft's brands on mobile phones."

Looking to maximize its return, Ubisoft's timing on the sale seems to be spot-on. Also based in Paris, Gameloft reported $89 million in sales for 2006, a 48 percent year-over-year increase, and projected its 2007 sales to fall between $117 million and $130 million. In May, the developer tallied its best quarter to date, raking in $30.9 million in sales for Q1 2007, up 56 percent from the same quarter last year.

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Discussion

26 comments
Paceydre
Paceydre

It's good to see that Ubisoft is investing it's resources into growing the company. I think for the long term this will mean more (IP) games, a better production process and much more. Too many things floating around in my brain now...it's all good. Nice work Ubi, keep up the good work.

blancobo
blancobo

I am happy Ubisoft is focusing all their efforts on Next Gen and Wii consoles. Ubisoft is one of few companies who enjoy of a really broad library of successful, high quality titles.

darthzew
darthzew

I trust Ubisoft completely. They rule.

runstalker
runstalker

More cash to put towards those next-gen games coming out of Montreal, Paris and Shanghai studios = fine by me.

SecretWasianMan
SecretWasianMan

Yes, I agree with Romanticide. Brothers in Arms for the DS was very surprising.

HALOISTHEBEST26
HALOISTHEBEST26

Ubisoft is one of my favorite companys because they have so many games that are awesome!!!

Romanticide
Romanticide

Gameloft actually made some decent games =(

racerx737
racerx737

this really doesnt affect me much since I dont pay mobile games, but it does mean that Ubisoft will have more money to do more great things in the future, here's to hoping they put the money to good use.

adidaspj
adidaspj

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

RaiKageRyu
RaiKageRyu

Financial transactions at its finest!

HyperMetaDragon
HyperMetaDragon

Mobile gaming is still alive? Why not focus on getting PS3 Ubisoft games as high quality as 360 Ubisoft games?

HK-47-M4
HK-47-M4

Well it's all about money.

azizrulez
azizrulez

thats a lot of money for shares of a mobile-game company

Agreb91
Agreb91

I thinki that is a wise financial desicion.

yboucher
yboucher

This was purely a financial transaction. The Guillemot family still retains 19% of the shares of Gameloft, so it will be business as usual. Ubi just needed some money, and GL's share price was at a peak.

ryanthegreat232
ryanthegreat232

Sounds good and all but why sell it off when it is making record profits every year? Sure it looks attractive to potential buyers but how much money was it putting in their pocket already? I guess not 112 million lol

westsidejedi360
westsidejedi360

Ya, all they worked on were crappy mobile games, PoP, and BIA DS

LordAndrew
LordAndrew

They sold off GameLoft but still intend to work together in the future. Sounds like a good plan.

dn3datomiced
dn3datomiced

Nicely done, Ubisoft! I hope you didn't have to step on any unnecessary toes in the process, though.

comthitnuong
comthitnuong

They made a good amount of money on that.

IpodHero176
IpodHero176

They did the smart thing and left. Nice business move.

ahyumifan
ahyumifan

Gameloft made some good games, but they did make bad games too.