Tencent today has announced a voluntary cash offer to purchase all shares of developer Funcom. Tencent, one of the biggest game publishers, with stakes in Epic Games, Grinding Gear Games, Supercell, Riot Games along with many others, already has a 29% stake in Funcom. This takeover has been greeted with enthusiasm from Funcom CEO Rui Casais.
“We have had a great relationship with Tencent as our largest shareholder so far and we are excited about this opportunity,” says Funcom CEO Rui Casais. “We will continue to develop great games that people all over the world will play, and we believe that the support of Tencent will take Funcom to the next level. Tencent will provide Funcom with operational leverage and insights from its vast knowledge as the leading company in the game space.”
Currently, Funcom is publicly traded on the Oslo Stock Exchange and Tencent seeks to acquire shares directly from the shareholders. Tencent is offering NOK 17.00 per share, a 27.3% increase in the current price as of closing on January 21st, 2020. Shareholders are of course free to accept or reject the offer, that will take effect in early February, although the management board and supervisory board have recommended all shareholders accept the offer.
Funcom is expected to keep management, staffing, or structure as-is post acquis, with the company set to remain an independent business. Funcom has outlined they will continue to support Exiles, Secret World Legends, Age of Conan, and Anarchy Online.
Steven Ma, Senior Vice President of Tencent, commented: “We are impressed by Funcom’s strengths as a developer of open-world multiplayer, action and survival games. Funcom has a strong track-record in developing new titles with long life span. We are glad to deepen our relationship with Funcom and look forward to collaborating with Funcom to deliver more exciting and enjoyable game experiences to fans worldwide.”
In connection to this deal, Funcom management has decided to publicly announce they will increase the scope of the upcoming Dune game pending board approval. The adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune currently does not have a release date, although more time and financing, should help the developers reach the vision intended for the project.