Tencent Takes Minority Stake in French Game Maker Voodoo



(Caixin) Chinese tech giant Tencent has taken a minority stake in Paris-based video game maker Voodoo, the French company said in a LinkedIn post on August 17.


The amount invested and the quantum of the stake was not disclosed. Tencent didn’t immediately reply to DealStreetAsia’s emailed request for comments, which was sent outside office hours.


Voodoo said in a press statement on Tuesday that the deal valued the company at an enterprise value of $1.4 billion, or around 1.2 billion euros.


“We are thrilled to welcome Tencent, a company we admire for its leading game and consumer mobile apps. We look forward to developing new products together for the Asian market, and publishing games created by the many talented game studios in the region,” Alexandre Yazdi, co-founder and CEO of Voodoo, said in the press statement.


Yazdi will remain the largest shareholder of Voodoo, and will retain control together with the management, the statement added.


In May, Bloomberg reported, citing sources, that Voodoo was seeking bids for a stake sale which would value the game maker at more than 1.5 billion euros. In July, another Bloomberg report, citing sources, said Tencent would take around 20-25 per cent of Voodoo for less than 500 million euros ($593.8 million).


Voodoo has raised $210 million, excluding the Tencent investment, according to Crunchbase data. In mid-2018 it had raised $200 million from Goldman Sachs. Tikehau Capital led a debt-financing round in the company 2019, while SAIF Partners and Thomas Dadashi participated in earlier seed rounds, the data show.


Tencent has been pursuing a strategy of making half of its games revenue from outside China, up from 23 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2019, Reuters reported.


The Chinese company already owns Riot Games, which created League of Legends, and controls Supercell. In July, Tencent launched a new California-based studio to focus on publishing developing and publishing of AAA titles, Reuters reported.


Voodoo, founded in 2013, makes free, casual games for both Android and iOS, and the company said it has reached more than 3.7 billion downloads and had 300 million monthly active users. Its games include Helix Jump, Snake VS Block, and Paper.io.


In July, Bloomberg reported, citing sources, that Tencent was in talks to acquire Hong Kong-listed game maker Leyou Technologies.


Tencent is also pushing for a merger of China’s No.1 and No.2 game-streaming platforms Huya and DouYu, respectively, the Chinese company said in a US stock exchange filing. Tencent owns 38 per cent of DouYu, making it the largest shareholder, while it holds 50.9 per cent of Huya, with both companies listed in the US, the filing said.


Tencent also owns eGame, China’s No.4 player, which could be involved in any merger, Reuters reported, citing an unnamed source.


This article was originally published by Deal Street Asia


Source: Caixin

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