Comet owner OpCapita makes move to buy Game

Looking to pay off debts

Comet owner OpCapita makes move to buy Game
| GAME news

UK retailer Game could be saved from administration if a proposed buyout by retail investment specialist OpCapita goes through, reports The Times.

The paper claims OpCapita, which recently acquired electronics chain Comet, is looking to buyout the Game Group's lenders, paying off debts owed to the store's suppliers in the process.

The buyout game

There's currently no word on whether Game will accept the move, after a weekend that saw the retailer slash prices in a 'Spring Clean' promotion designed to serve up such much needed capital.

However, The Times claims Game has already warned shareholders their stakes may be wiped out by "the actions the board are considering to keep it afloat".

OpCapita is one of several potential suitors cited by the press, with early talk having suggested US retail chain GameStop was looking to make a move, but only after Game had gone into administration.

Other businesses reportedly interested in the chain include US supermarket giant Walmart, which owns ASDA, and retail restructuring company Hilco.

Retail woes

Any new owners, however, will have to deal with the changing nature of games retail, with Pocket Gamer editor-in-chief Kristan Reed having recently taken to these pages to point out that digital platforms such as mobile are largely the reason behind slowing sales of boxed games.

That's a view backed up by trade association TIGA, which said yesterday Game's situation was a reflection of the rise of mobile and digital marketplaces.

"The situation at Game will reinforce the trend which has seen UK game developers and digital publishers move towards network gaming – mobile, massively multiplayer, social and online gaming," said TIGA CEO Dr. Richard Wilson.

"Retail sales of video games have declined for four consecutive years, as consumers change their spending habits."

[source: MCV]

Keith Andrew
Keith Andrew
With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font. He's also Pocket Gamer's resident football gaming expert and, thanks to his work on, monitors the market share of all mobile OSes on a daily basis.