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OpCapita rescues Game's UK stores

Private investment firm and turnaround specialist OpCapita has bought the collapsed Game Group’s UK business out of administration. The move has saved around 3,200 jobs.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

OpCapita rescues Game's UK stores

Private investment firm and turnaround specialist OpCapita has bought the collapsed Game Group’s UK business out of administration. The move has saved around 3,200 jobs.

Under the terms of the deal, OpCapita has acquired all Game’s 333 UK stores that have remained open during the period of administration as well as £85 million in debt. The company said it will also seek to re-employ a small number of Gam head office staff who received redundancy notices last week. However, it has not bought any of the group’s 663 overseas stores which employ a further 4,000 people.

OpCapita made an initial bid for Game Group last month but its offer was rejected by Game’s six lenders which include the Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays. This led to the group appointing PwC as administrators who closed 277 stores and made over 2,000 staff redundant.

Commenting on the acquisition, Henry Jackson, managing partner of OpCapita said: "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."

Mike Jervis, administrator to Game Group and PwC partner added: "We are delighted to be able to secure this business sale and provide some much needed stability for customers, suppliers and employees alike in these uncertain times. The support of these stakeholders has been crucial over the last week and I would like to thank them for their support throughout this difficult period.

"This means that the Game brand will not be another one of the retail names disappearing from the high street in the current difficult climate."

David Hamid, an OpCapita partner and former chief executive of Halfords, has been appointed as the new executive chairman of Game UK.

OpCapita said there were no plans for any further store closures.

 

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