Search

Hope for Norfolk and Suffolk workers as investment firm buys Game

13:34 01 April 2012

Jobs are expected to be saved by a deal to rescue part of struggling retailer Game Group by a turn-around investment firm. Photo: Johnny Green/PA Wire

Jobs are expected to be saved by a deal to rescue part of struggling retailer Game Group by a turn-around investment firm. Photo: Johnny Green/PA Wire

The expected announcement of a rescue deal could give workers at struggling Game stores in Norfolk and Suffolk a ray of hope today (Sunday).

More than 3,000 jobs are expected to be saved by a deal to rescue part of retailer Game Group by a turn-around investment firm in a boost for the high street.

Opcapita, which recently bought electrical goods retailer Comet, is set to announce that it is buying a substantial part of the computer games chain, keeping open 333 shops and saving 3,100 jobs, the BBC said.

The UK operations of the retailer, which trades as Game and Gamestation, collapsed into administration on Monday, triggering 277 store closures and 2,104 redundancies.

Shops on the High Street and Norfolk Street in King’s Lynn, the Britten Centre in Lowestoft, Market Gates in Great Yarmouth, and the Butter Market in Bury St Edmnuds were among those which kept trading.

But a total of four stores in Norwich, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft are now closed.

Administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers, which was not immediately available for comment, has been searching for a buyer for the business while the remaining shops were kept open.

OpCapita is understood to have paid a nominal amount, believed to be £1, for Game’s assets.

However, the real cost will be taking over the company’s £85 million debts. It is understood the company’s lenders, led by Royal Bank of Scotland, will have agreed to roll forward the debts at the same time as taking a slight reduction.

OpCapita was among a number of potential bidders for the remaining assets including a consortium of existing banks including RBS and American rival Gamestop.

OpCapita, which bought Comet for a token £2, specialises in investing in and turning around stricken retail chains.

Game’s demise followed a string of profit warnings and the failure of nervous suppliers, including Electronic Arts and Nintendo, to go on providing new games.

The retailer had a £21 million rent bill due last week and faces a £12 million wage bill this weekend, although PwC is expected to honour any wages owed. There is also £10 million in VAT and £40 million owed to suppliers.

Game suffered a dismal Christmas and was later forced to ask suppliers for more generous trading terms.

But many stopped supplying it with new releases, such as Mass Effect 3 and Street Fighter X Tekken, leaving fans disappointed and adding to the group’s trading woes.

Game agreed fresh lending facilities with banks last month and began seeking access to alternative sources of funding earlier this month.

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

0 comments

Other news

Yesterday, 22:30
Firefighters have begun four days of strike action in a dispute over changes to their pension scheme. Photo: Tim Goode/PA Wire

Fire and rescue services across the region were called out a number of times tonight, with a 999 service continuing to operate as four days of strike action got underway.

Yesterday, 15:43
Southwold beach on another warm sunny day in October.
Iona (left) and Isobel Jenkins enjoying the beach.

It has felt more like the height of summer than the end of October today, as unseasonably high temperatures smashed the record for the warmest Halloween in Britain.

Yesterday, 11:19
A simple test to check for toxic algae is set to make huge improvements to fish health and ecosystems benefiting fish farming and angling throughout the world.

Researchers at the John Innes Centre in Norwich are developing a cost-effective and simple dip-test,giving environmental managers more regular opportunities to establish early indication of Prymnesium.

Dr Martin Rejzek (centre) with PhD students Ben Wagstaff and Edward Hems and the samples of water and lab grown algae.

Picture: James Bass

Scientists are a step closer to catching a toxic algae before it potentially kills swathes of fish in the Broads.

Yesterday, 10:54
Firefighters are going on strike across England.
 Photo: Andy Darnell

Emergency fire cover across Waveney will be “massively depleted” during this Halloween and bonfire weekend as firefighters across England hold a four-day strike over pension changes.

Most Read

Yesterday, 10:35
The Lady of the Lake pub in Oulton Broad which is organising a fund-raising event for Adele Bellis, the victim of an acid attack in Lowestoft earlier this year.
Pub director Tony Meades with Sue Willgoss, Matt Southernwood, Charlotte Roberts, Sarah Mitchell and Emma Linnell.

Picture: James Bass

It was a traumatic attack which left her with life-changing injuries which will take many years to fully heal - but today, brave Adele Bellis launches a campaign - supported by The Journal - to raise money for her ongoing rehabilitation from the horrific incident which saw her sprayed in the face with acid earlier this year.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:27
The Eagle Tavern in Tonning Street, Lowestoft.

A Lowestoft pub described by a nearby resident as “hell” has had its licence revoked following reports of persistent anti-social behaviour.

Read more
Wednesday, February 25, 2009

TRANSPORT police have renewed a call for people to take heed of the potential dangers of level crossings after two motorists were fined on Monday.

Megan Birch and Derrick Whyte were both in court after admitting failing to comply with signs at the Oulton Broad North level crossing in separate incidents last year.

Read more
Tue, 17:58
GV - Ipswich Crown Court

A fraudster who tricked a man out of £25,000 by persuading him to invest in a computer application he claimed he was developing has been jailed for three years.

Read more
Yesterday, 22:30
Firefighters have begun four days of strike action in a dispute over changes to their pension scheme. Photo: Tim Goode/PA Wire

Fire and rescue services across the region were called out a number of times tonight, with a 999 service continuing to operate as four days of strike action got underway.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 15°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Lowestoft Journal e-edition today E-edition