Sale will save 3,000 Game jobs

A deal is likely to save troubled Game Group, it has been reported

A deal is likely to save troubled Game Group, it has been reported

First published in National News © by

Nearly 3,200 jobs at struggling retailer Game Group have been safeguarded as part of the business was sold to a turn-around investment firm.

OpCapita, which recently bought electrical goods retailer Comet, has bought 333 shops, said administrators.

The UK operations of the retailer, which trades as Game and Gamestation, collapsed into administration on Monday, triggering 277 store closures and 2,104 redundancies.

Administrator PwC confirmed the sale but would not reveal the financial details of the transaction. It is thought OpCapita paid a nominal amount, possibly £1, for the assets.

Henry Jackson, managing partner of OpCapita said: "We strongly believe there is a place on the high street for a video gaming specialist and Game is the leading brand in a £2.8 billion market in the UK.

"We have assembled a strong team of experienced industry operators to implement the programme of operational change that is needed. There is a huge amount to do but we look forward to the challenge of restoring Game's fortunes in partnership with its employees and suppliers."

The real cost will be taking over the company's £85 million debts. It is understood the company's lenders, led by Royal Bank of Scotland, will have agreed to roll forward the debts at the same time as taking a slight reduction.

OpCapita was among a number of potential bidders for the remaining assets which also included a consortium of existing banks including RBS and American rival Gamestop. OpCapita, which bought Comet for a token £2, specialises in investing in and turning around stricken retail chains.

Game's demise followed a string of profit warnings and the failure of nervous suppliers, including Electronic Arts and Nintendo, to go on providing new games.

The retailer had a £21 million rent bill due last week and faces a £12 million wage bill this weekend, although PwC is expected to honour any wages owed. There is also £10 million in VAT and £40 million owed to suppliers.

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