GAME Group saved by a £1 buyout

April 2, 2012 | 12:21

Tags: #console-games #digital-distribution #gameplay #high-street #investment #opcapita #pc-games #retail

Companies: #game #game-group #gamestation

Beleaguered high-street games giant GAME Group has received a last-minute reprieve, leaving administration thanks to an eleventh-hour bid from investment group OpCapita.

The deal sees OpCapita, which already owns high-street electronics chain Comet, picking up GAME Group's assets for a nominal £1. As a result, 333 stores owned by GAME Group and not yet closed as part of the company's cull of 277 properties will be remaining open - for now.

OpCapita's investment saves an estimated 3,200 jobs in GAME Group's high-street facilities, which will come as a great relief the company's remaining employees and cold comfort to the 2,104 people laid off last week as the company entered administration.

'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,' claimed OpCapita's managing partner Henry Jackson of the deal. For its investment, OpCapita's David Hamid - late of Halfords - becomes GAME Group's new executive chair.

While OpCapita's deal with GAME Group's administrators saves its UK facilities, things look darker overseas. The deal only covers the company's UK properties; elsewhere, the administration continues with around 4,000 staff across 663 shops at risk.

OpCapita now has a major undertaking on its hands, clearing GAME Group's staggering debts and turning the company's fortunes around. Whether that will entail further store closures and job losses is not yet known.
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