Sports Direct's stake in Game Digital has doubled to £20m since Mike Ashley invested in July

Oliver Gill
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Mike Ashley is looking for buyer to purchase Newcastle United Football Club (Source: Getty)

Mike Ashley today booked a £1.5m profit in a matter of minutes from Sports Direct's investment in Game Digital.

Shares in the retailer leapt eight per cent after it agreed on a deal to sell loss-making gaming arm Multiplay for £19m.

Sports Direct bought a 25.75 per cent stake in Game in July. Over the summer, Game's stock market valuation was languishing at its lowest point since floating in mid-2014. Since Ashley invested shares have almost doubled, meaning his stake in the firm has increased from £10m to £20m.

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Game boss Martyn Gibbs said the Multiplay transaction represented a "significant strategic step forward" for the London-listed firm.

Two weeks ago Game said the tide had turned for the retailer, boosted by a resurgence in popularity of the Nintendo Switch, Gibbs said: "After two years of declines, our core UK console market returned to growth."

After a spectacular crash in 2008, Nintendo shares have surged with stock market valuation of the Japanese firm doubling during 2017.

Today, Gibbs said: "By divesting Multiplay Digital we simplify the Group and focus management on accelerating development plans to fully capitalise on the strong growth potential in our exciting and growing esports activities."

Read more: Sports Direct’s Mike Ashley buys Game Digital stake after profit warning

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