Sports Direct’s takeover offer of Game now unconditional after gaining 54% stake

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Sports Direct Game
// Sports Direct’s offer for Game is now unconditional
// Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct secured backing from shareholders owning 15.8% of shares
// Together with its 38.5% stake, Sports Direct now owns or has received backing from shareholders representing 54.3% of Game

Sports Direct has declared that its £52 million takeover offer of Game is now unconditional after securing a majority stake in the video games retailer.

It comes after Mike Ashley’s retail company received acceptances from stakeholders owning 15.8 per cent of shares.

This means that together with its 38.5 per cent stake, Sports Direct now owns or has received backing from shareholders representing 54.3 per cent of Game.

Sports Direct said its offer is now “declared unconditional in all respects”, but will remain open for acceptances from investors until the 1pm deadline on July 30.

Ashley’s retail empire is offering 30p a share for Game under the cash bid, which was triggered after it upped its stake in the video games chain to 38.5 per cent last month.

City rules stipulates that a shareholder must make a takeover bid if their stake surpasses the 30 per cent threshold.

Game advised its shareholders on June 21 to accept the offer, saying that it represents a fair value to the group.

However, Sports Direct has signalled there may be store closures and job losses following the deal amid plans to review Game’s operations and potentially merge some sites into its wider empire.

It marks Ashley’s latest move to expand across the UK high street, having already snapped up House of Fraser, Evans Cycles and Sofa.com over the past year.

Sports Direct was already Game’s largest stakeholder and has been a shareholder in the retailer since July 2017.

It has been working with Game to roll out concessions and its competitive gaming and eSports arenas, called Belong, in which Sports Direct has bought a 50 per cent share of the intellectual property rights.

Sports Direct has previously said that following the deal, it would look to open Belong sites within Sports Direct, House of Fraser or elsewhere, as part of a focus on “the customer experience and experiential retail offering”.

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