As feared, The GAME Group have today officially entered into administration.
PricewaterhouseCooper, who are have been appointed as administrators, remain positive that “a going concern sale of the business is achievable”, although the company will still face store closures with the potential for thousands of jobs to be affected.
Its financial woes began to spiral out of control as publishers began to pull support for the games specialist, releases such as The Last Story, Mario Party 9, Kid Icarus: Uprising and EA’s March titles which included the heavily anticipated Mass Effect 3.
The GAME Group soon put itself up for sale, resulting in a supposed bid from OpCapita, before the company finally filed for administration last week.
The official statement is as follows:
Mike Jervis and Stuart Maddison of PwC were appointed joint administrators of the UK and Ireland operations of The GAME Group plc, Game Stores Group Limited, Gameplay (GB) Limited, Game (Stores) Limited, Games Station Limited, Game (retail) Limited, Gamestation Limited (“the group”) on 26 March 2012. The appointment was made following the company’s announcements on 21 March that the listing of its securities on the Main Market of London Stock Exchange plc had been suspended from trading and a filing of a notice of intention to appoint an administrator had been made.
The group, with a turnover of £1,625m in the year to 31 January, is a multi-channel retailer of video games and video games hardware trading under the names of Game and Gamestation. The group’s head office is based in Basingstoke with operations in the UK and Ireland, Spain, Portugal, France, Czech Republic and Australia. There are currently 609 stores throughout the UK and Ireland. There are 385 employees based in the group’s head office in Basingstoke and 5,136 store employees across the UK and Ireland.
Mike Jervis, joint administrator and partner at PwC said:
“The group has faced serious cashflow and profit issues over the recent past. It also has suffered from high fixed costs, an ambitious international roll-out and fluctuating working capital requirements.
“Despite these challenges, we believe that there is room for a specialist game retailer in the territories in which it operates, including its biggest one, the UK. As a result we are hopeful that a going concern sale of the business is achievable”.