Sports Direct launches takeover of gaming giant Game with £52million bid

Retail tycoon Mike Ashley’s company has made the big offer after increasing its stake in the High St firm.

Sports Direct had already been Game’s largest shareholder with nearly 20%, but upped that figure yesterday to 38%.

It bought shares belonging to a growth fund to take Sports Direct’s share control of Game above the 30% threshold which requires a mandatory offer for Game under UK takeover rules.

“Sports Direct believes that the offer, in providing Game with the wider benefit of Sports Direct’s operating and other experience and increased support, will secure Game’s future and allow it to navigate these pressures,” the company said.

Game’s sales of hardware and consoles have been hit hard by competition in recent times amid struggles in high street retailing, and in getting to grips with a changing video game landscape.

The chain saw sales drop 4.7% to £492.9m in its first half, despite a boost to some categories from popular games like Fortnite.

However, cost-cutting and higher margin sales boosted interim pre-tax profits, up 20.3% to £14.8m.

Sports Direct’s bid is its latest attempt to expand across the UK high street, having snapped up a string of struggling companies.

It has already taken over department store House of Fraser, Evans Cycles and online furniture firm Sofa.

Ashley’s retail empire also owns department store Flannels, a 29% stake in Debenhams and 27% stake in French Connection.

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