Game admit they are in danger of collapse


Peter Cripps
Monday 12 March 2012 09:03

Retailer Game admitted it is in danger of collapse today after several suppliers refused to provide it with new products.

The group, which employs 10,000 people, confirmed the options in its battle for survival included the sale of its UK business, which has 600 stores.

It is also seeking access to alternative sources of funding and has asked suppliers for more generous trading terms, but so far it has not been possible to source new products from a number of suppliers.

Game admitted that it is uncertain whether its efforts will be successful or whether the company will be left with any value.

The group's quarterly rent bill is due in a fortnight and failure to pay its landlords could push it into administration.

Its woes have been made worse after it failed to stock new eagerly awaited titles such as Mass Effect 3 and Street Fighter X Tekken.

Shares have slid from more than 70p at the start of last year to just 1.7p, including a fall of 48% following today's statement.

The group agreed fresh lending facilities with banks last month but the loan was not enough to reassure suppliers, who have balked at being asked to give the group better terms to help it stay afloat.

The company, which has 1,300 stores worldwide trading under the Game and Gamestation brands, suffered a woeful Christmas, with like-for-like sales down 12.9% in the eight weeks to January 7, blamed on a lack of new consoles and a squeeze in consumer spending.

It has already signalled that losses for the year to the end of January are likely to be around £18 million.

But since then it has sunk deeper into the mire after it disappointed customers by failing to stock sci-fi game Mass Effect 3 after a spat with games giant Electronic Arts and now other suppliers have followed suit.

It has reportedly hired advisory firm Rothschild to help it sell all or parts of the business, but it is understood that securing a deal in such a short time-frame will prove difficult.

The company is believed to have lined up accountancy firm Deloitte to handle any insolvency process, which could see Game's UK operations put through a pre-pack administration for all or some of its estate to be sold on quickly.


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