Game to call in experts on restructuring

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The Independent Online

Game Group is poised to hire a restructuring team at Deloitte, the accountancy firm, to deliver a strategic plan for next year to help it turn around its dire performance.

The embattled computer games retailer, which has 610 UK stores, has also spoken to restructuring teams at other firms over recent weeks about improving its deteriorating financial position. But Deloitte appears the front-runner to be hired.

Game – which had debts of £91m as of 31 July – has been hit by the wider consumer downturn. But the retailer is also suffering from tanking demand for its products, despite a boost from new releases, including Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

In November, Game issued its second profits warning in five months, adding that its like-for-like sales this year would be down by at least 7 per cent. The City expects Game to post a loss of £12m for the year to 31 January. Its shares have lost 87.5 per cent of their value this year and closed at a lowly 8.75p yesterday.

Alongside its profit warning last month, Ian Shepherd, the chief executive of Game, insisted it had "outperformed the market", but said it was in "extraordinary economic times". Royal Bank of Scotland is the biggest lender to Game. All parties declined to comment.