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333 GAME stores snapped up by OpCapita, keep running

updated 05:20 pm EDT, Sun April 1, 2012

GAME gets last minute rescue

UK retailer GAME was partly saved from its fall into administration Sunday after private investment group OpCapita agreed to buy 333 of the stores. The terms of the deal weren't made clear, but are expected to have OpCapita shoulder some of GAME's debt. OpCapita Managing Partner Henry Jackson saw GAME covering a necessary part of the British gaming industry.

"We strongly believe there is a place on the high street for a video gaming specialist and [GAME] is the leading brand in a 2.8bn market in the UK," he said.

The new owners planned a significant amount of change in the stores to bring them back into profitability. GAME owes six banks a combined 85 million ($136 million) and may have separate debts for staff pay and store rent. About 277 of its stores across the UK had to close almost immediately after the administration.

The chain is has often been considered one of if not the largest game retailers in the UK, but high overhead costs and a change in the industry hurt its chances. Direct game downloads have reduced the need for physical stores, and the shift to smartphone and tablet gaming has been dampening Nintendo and Sony sales. [via BBC]



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