Thursday 4 July 2019 9:00 am

Game management to sell shares to Ashley’s Sports Direct

Directors at retailer Game have urged shareholders to accept a £52m takeover offer from Sports Direct, saying they intended to sell their own shares to Mike Ashley’s company.

Read more: Game recommends Sports Direct takeover offer

Game previously recommended the offer of 30p per share, which it said was “fair and reasonable”.

The bid came after Ashley’s sportswear chain upped its stake in the gaming retailer, forcing a mandatory takeover offer.

In its response, Game said the deal will help drive growth in its esports initiative Belong Gaming Arenas.

“The Game directors unanimously recommend that Game shareholders accept the mandatory offer, as those Game directors who hold Game shares intend to do in respect of their own beneficial holdings of Game shares,” the company said in a filing.

The mandatory offer will close on 11 July, with payment to shareholders due by 25 July.

The acquisition will be the latest in a spate of buyouts by the retail tycoon, who snapped up House of Fraser and Evans Cycles last year.

But Ashley suffered a heavy blow earlier this year when his stake of almost 30 per cent in Debenhams was wiped out after the department store fell into administration.

At the time of making the offer, Sports Direct said it did not believe Game could “weather the pressures that it is facing” as a standalone business.

Read more: Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct lines up Game takeover

“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 firm said.