Redwood City, Calif.-based video game giant Electronic Arts has acquired a 19.9% interest in competing developer/publisher UbiSoft Ent., headquartered in Rennes, France. Shares purchased as a block from Talpa Beheer B.V. will be completed upon obtaining antitrust clearance from the U.S. government. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
With the investment, EA has become Ubisofts largest shareholder. As a result of the transaction, shares in the French game company rose 16.61% yesterday in mid-morning trading on the Paris Brouse. Ubisofts many award-winning and best-selling titles include the Tom Clancys Splinter Cell and Prince of Persia series.
Backed by annual revenues of around $2.96 billion, EA recently attempted to purchase 90% of shares in Swedish independent game company Digital Illusions CE (DICE), which made the popular Battlefield 1942 and Battlefield Vietnam for EA. However, EA failed to get enough of the companys shareholders on board. Yesterday, EA changed the conditions of its offer, seeking instead a 50% stake in DICE, and extended the offer acceptance period from Dec. 27 to Jan. 20.