OpCapita picks up GAME retail chain, plans to keep 333 stores open

The staff of UK video game retailer GAME's remaining 333 stores can breathe a collective sigh of relief today: investment firm OpCapita is buying the chain. "We are pleased to have reached agreement with the Administrator," declared managing partner Henry Jackson, "We strongly believe there is a place on the high street for a video gaming specialist and GAME is a leading brand in the £2.8bn market in the UK." The retailer's UK assets will be transferred to Baker Acquisitions Limited, an OpCapita funded company. The firm stated that it has "no plans for any further store closures," and that it hopes to safeguard the remaining 3,200 jobs the chain still has under its belt. Read on for the official press release.

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PwC, Administrator to The Game Group plc, ("GAME" or "the Company") and OpCapita LLP ("OpCapita"), the private investment firm specialising in operational turnarounds in the retail, consumer and leisure sectors, are pleased to announce that they have reached agreement on the sale of GAME's UK assets to Baker Acquisitions Limited ("Baker Acquisitions" or "Baker"), an entity advised by OpCapita.

Under the terms of the transaction, Baker Acquisitions will acquire the UK business out of administration and will provide it with the capital it needs to trade on a normalised basis. Baker will acquire all 333 UK stores that have remained open during the period of administration. The agreement means that the jobs of nearly 3200 GAME employees, who will transfer to Baker, have been safeguarded. Baker Acquisitions will also seek to re-employ a small number of staff who previously worked at GAME's head office but who received redundancy notices last week. There are no plans for any further store closures.

Financial terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

Commenting on the agreement, 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 The GAME Group plc 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."