Hope for Game as firm poised for rescue deal

 
Kasmira Jefford
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GAME’S administrator PwC could announce a successful bidder for the collapsed video games retailer as early as today, much earlier than expected.

Sources close to the company said the retailer’s six lenders led by the state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland were in the lead to buy the company out of administration with a lender-led offer that would see a debt-for-equity swap for the portfolio of shops.

Private equity firm Opcapita, which earlier this year acquired British electricals chain Comet from Kesa, has also resubmitted a bid for parts of the firm after earlier tabling a bid to buy out the lenders’ debt and pay suppliers in full.

Restructuring specialist Hilco and US rival Gamestop are also in the running to buy the retailer, although the former is understood to be circling Game’s overseas assets.

PwC closed 277 of Game’s 609 stores on Tuesday, leaving more than 2,000 staff without jobs after the company fell into administration.

The sale of Game is likely to lead to a further slimlining of its store portfolio, putting hundreds of jobs at risk.

Meanwhile, the administrators made the surprise move of “reactivating” Game’s reward cards after suspending the scheme, which has some 19m subscribers worldwide.

Gift cards, however, are still suspended and points can only be redeemed on pre-owned (second-hand) stock and not new items.

Debt-laden Game unravelled last month as its major suppliers blocked the supply of their blockbuster titles.

PwC, Opcapita, Hilco and RBS declined to comment.