Ubisoft, one of the world's largest videogame publishers, announced that on July 12, 2007 it sold the 13,367,923 shares it owned in Gameloft (representing 18.89% of the company's capital) to Calyon, Credit Agricole Group's Corporate and Investment Bank. The sale price was 6.08 euros, based on Gameloft's closing share price on July 12, 2007.
Additionally, Ubisoft has an equity swap agreement with Calyon giving Calyon 24 months to sell the above-mentioned shares on the market and any and all changes in the Gameloft share price compared with Calyon's purchase price of 6.08 euros will be recorded in full by Ubisoft. This transaction will only impact Ubisoft's income statement and generate cash inflows when Calyon sells the Gameloft shares on the market. At that time, Ubisoft will recognize the difference between the value of the shares sold by Calyon and the value of the investment in Ubisoft's balance sheet (34 million euros at March 31, 2007, or an average value of 2.54 euros per share) under "gain/loss from operations of discontinued business segment."
"The videogame market offers numerous internal and external growth opportunities," said Ubisoft ceo Yves Guillemot. "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. Following this sale Ubisoft and Gameloft will continue their productive collaboration at a purely operational level, particularly concerning the utilization of Ubisoft's brands on mobile phones."
Ubisoft cfo Alain Martinez explained his company opted for an equity swap solution, "as we are confident in Gameloft's capacity for growth. Selecting this approach enables us to inform the market of our exit strategy and to stagger the market placement of the Gameloft shares in order to continue to benefit from the company's development potential over the next two years."
Headquartered in Paris, Ubisoft (www.ubisoftgroup.com) is a leading producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products worldwide with offices in 21 countries and sales in more than 50 countries around the globe. Ubisoft generated revenue of 680 million euros for the 2006/2007 fiscal year.