Vivendi to sell its Ubisoft stake

PARIS, March 20 (Reuters) - Vivendi said on Tuesday it is to sell its stake in Ubisoft for 2 billion euros ($2.45 billion) in a victory for the video games maker which has long opposed the French media group’s involvement in the company.

Vivendi, which has been gradually raising its stake in Ubisoft, said it would sell its stake of 27.3 percent in the video games group, best known for its Assassin’s Creed and South Park games.

Vivendi first bought a stake in Ubisoft in 2015 and raised it in 2016, prompting Ubisoft’s founding Guillemot family to court Canadian investors to fend off any hostile approach.

Ubisoft said the transaction included an investment by two new long-term investors, the Relationship Investing arm of Ontario Teachers’ Public Equities division, and Chinese social network and gaming company Tencent. The deal also includes a share buy-back by Ubisoft, a share purchase by Guillemot Brothers SE and an accelerated bookbuilding with institutional investors.

As part of the transaction, Ubisoft and Tencent have also announced a partnership that will speed up the reach of Ubisoft franchises in China in the coming years.

$1 = 0.8159 euros Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva. Editing by Jane Merriman