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GAME Group sold to Comet owner for £1

Investment firm OpCapita to take over UK stores

Beleaguered high street video game retailer GAME Group has been sold to OpCapita for a nominal £1 fee, taking the company out of administration.

Under the agreement, brokered by administrator PwC, the company's UK retail presence, including 333 stores trading as Game and Gamestation as well as nearly 3,200 staff, will be taken over by Baker Acquisitions, a firm described as "advised by OpCapita".

"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," said Henry Jackson, managing partner of OpCapita. "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 Group have struggled in recent months, with poor Christmas sales leading to a crisis of faith with lenders. After several weeks of uncertainty, with important suppliers including EA and Nintendo breaking links with the chain, the group eventually announced that it would taking the business into administration on March 26. Store closures and redundancies followed soon followed.

According to PwC, the company will not announce further store closures, which will no doubt come as a relief to staff at the remaining branches. The company also plans to re-employ some workers from GAME's head office, who received redundancy notices last week.

Not everyone is expected to welcome the news however, as the deal makes no mention of GAME Group stores outside the mainland UK, which are presumably not covered by the terms of the agreement. GAME owns more than 600 stores overseas, including 14 in Northern Ireland, where staff held sit-in protests over the weekend demanding that administrators address concerns over statutory redundancy payments.

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