Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct group has swooped in to purchase ailing Game Digital.
Sports Direct already owned a 30% stake in the computer game and peripherals retailer. It has now had an offer to buy the remaining stake for 30p a share, valuing the company at £51.88m.
Game has been struggling with the toughening UK retail environment, seeing growth of its Belong arenas happing more slowly than planned and many gamers holding back from new purchases until the next iteration of the Playstation comes out in 2020.
Sports Direct already has an existing agreement with Game to incorporate Belong arenas into its stores as a means of expanding its footprint. This is now expected to accelerate.
Sports Direct has been on an acquisition spree over the past two years, snapping up failing High Street retailers such as House of Fraser and Evans Cycles. It has also been linked to a possible purchase of Debenhams.
The latest move to snap up Game continues that streak and looks to increase the potential High Street footprint of the Sports Direct brand. It also has industry watchers pondering just what Ashley has in mind for making these stores work.
The news comes as fellow retailing behemoth Arcadia Group – which owns Topshop, Burton and Miss Selfridge among others – faces possible collapse as its landlords vote on whether or not to accept its propose rent cutting CVA.