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Game set to return to London Stock Market in dramatic turn-around


Video game retailer Game has announced its intentions to relist on the London Stock Exchange two years after its demise into administration. The company is famed for selling new and second-hand games and new information now suggests the float will value the company at £400m before the end of June.

Prior to administration Game traded in the UK under the Game and Gamestation names and had 610 shops. Upon their delisting however, administrators were forced to close 277 UK stores and sell the remaining 333 UK shops to private equity firm OpCapita, which was supported by hedge fund Elliott Advisors. In Spain itself, 32 stores were closed between 2011 and 2014.

Fiona Keenan, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel said: “Game’s intention to float follows an impressive run of success for the retailer. It had a particularly good Christmas, taking one of every three pounds spent on the new Xbox One and PS4 consoles and has achieved a high market share throughout 2014. Standing as the UK’s number one games retailer in 2014 so far it now holds 28.3 per cent of the British games market – a position which would have seemed highly improbable when it slipped into administration.

“Game’s strategy of increasing its presence in digital gaming appears to be the right one. The specialist retailer plans to capitalise on the market which has increased in value by 21 per cent over the past year; as digital games continues to grow in the coming years, Game will have the opportunity to benefit.”

Amidst the new transitions, Game will also adopt a new name and remerge into the market as Game Digital, where it plans to sell a stake of at least 35 per cent. Elliott Advisors – currently in possession of more than 90 per cent of Game - will retain a significant stake in the business.

In celebration of the turn-around, the non-executive chairman of Game Digital David Hamid commented that “Game in the UK has been transformed and strengthened, while Game in Spain has proved its resilience.” As well as Hamid, four new non-executive directions have been employed ahead of the flotation and Game’s desire to rebrand itself, including John Jackson, Caspar Woolley, Lesley Watkins and Franck Tuil.

The company has reportedly made £50.8m in underlying earnings in the six months leading up to the end of January, doubling the £24.5m it made the year before on revenues of £586.4m.

Published on Tuesday 20 May by Editorial Assistant

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