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European Retailer GAME Group Saved by $1.60 Buyout

by Killian Bell | April 2, 2012April 2, 2012 3:00 am PDT

GAME store UK

The private investment firm OpCapita has purchased the GAME and Gamestation stores that remain open following GAME Group’s decision to enter administration last month.

277 high street stores were closed last Monday, but OpCapita has purchased the 333 that remain for just £1 (approx. $1.60). It has set up a company called Baker Acquisitions to manage the deal, and it promises to supply GAME with “the capital it needs to trade on a normalized basis.”

Over 3,200 GAME employees will keep their jobs, and according to TechRadar, many of the head office staff who were made redundant could also be re-employed by the company’s new owners. However, it seems the 277 stores that have already been closed will not be reopened.

It is reported that OpCapita paid just £1 for GAME, which seems like a steal until you consider that it is now the proud owner of the chain’s staggering £85 million (approx. $136.3 million) debt. But OpCapita managing partner Henry Jackson is confident it can turn GAME around:

“We are pleased to have reached agreement with the Administrator. 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.”

GAME’s downfall came when major publishers – including EA, Ubisoft, and Nintendo — refused to sell the chain its latest titles for undisclosed reasons. It missed out on all PS Vita launch titles from Ubisoft, and EA’s Mass Effect 3 — one of this year’s biggest titles so far.

With new owners now in place, the company’s relationship with these publishers should (hopefully!) improve.

Are you pleased that GAME has been saved?

[via TechRadar]


Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...

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