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Mike Ashley's Sports Direct buys more than a quarter of GAME Digital

Sports Direct already owns stakes in retailers including Debenhams and French Connection. In March the group bought Agent Provocateur

Josie Cox
Business Editor
Thursday 13 July 2017 08:45 BST
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Game collapsed into administration in March 2012 leading to the closure of almost 280 stores and over 2,000 staff redundancies
Game collapsed into administration in March 2012 leading to the closure of almost 280 stores and over 2,000 staff redundancies (PA)

Sports Direct, controlled by billionaire businessman Mike Ashley, has agreed to acquire over a quarter of GAME Digital, the high street gaming chain.

GAME said that it is aware that Sports Direct “has taken significant strategic equity stakes in a number of retail and brand businesses across both the UK and USA, and is a leading retailer which partners with major global brands and suppliers”.

It said that it was “pleased that the strategic value of the group” had been recognised by Sports Direct and that it “looks forward to working” with Sports Direct in the gaming, live events and e-sports markets.

Sports Direct already owns stakes in retailers including Debenhams and French Connection. In March the group bought Agent Provocateur, the high-end lingerie chain popular with celebrities, immediately after it entered administration.

Last month, shares in GAME tumbled more than 30 per cent in one day after the company issued a profit warning and said that it has been hit by supply issues affecting Nintendo consoles.

Already back in March it had warned of a challenging market environment and analysts on Thursday said that Sports Direct was likely taking advantage of a discounted price for the shares.

Game collapsed into administration in March 2012 leading to the closure of almost 280 stores and over 2,000 staff redundancies. It was subsequently sold to investment firm OpCapita. It listed on the stock market in June 2014.

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