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Computer game stores saved as buyer is found

Computer game stores saved as buyer is found

TWO Bolton computer game shops under threat of closure have been saved after a buyer was found.

Game in Newport Street and Gamestation in Middlebrook Retail Park have been sold to private investment firm OpCapita in a deal for 333 shops across the UK.

The move has saved 15 jobs across the two Bolton stores.

The shops were previously owned by the Game chain which went into administration after financial and stock supply problems.

The problems meant that the shop was unable to stock some of the big March releases, including Mass Effect 3, because of a dispute over credit terms with publisher Electronic Arts.

The firm also had financial difficulties which experts linked back to its rapid expansion after it bought the Gamestation network.

When Game went into administration, 277 shops were closed last week across the UK with the loss of 2,104 jobs. These included the Gamestation branch in Newport Street, Bolton, and a shop in Bury,
with the combined loss of 17 jobs.

Across Greater Manchester 13 shops were closed with the loss of 97 jobs.

Yesterday administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers said OpCapita had set up a company called Baker Acquisitions to buy the remaining shops.

The new agreement will safeguard 330 shops and nearly 3,200 employees.

A small number of Game head office staff who were previously made redundant might also be re-employed.

PricewaterhouseCoopers said financial terms of the transaction have not been announced.

New owner Henry Jackson, a managing partner at OpCapita, said: “We strongly believe there is a place on the high street for a video gaming specialist and Game is the leading brand in a £2.8bn
market in the UK.

“We have assembled a strong team of experienced operators to implement the change that is needed.”

Before it went into administration, Game had launched a new online service and its customer services have been brought together onto one website called gamestation.co.uk.

A number of banks, led by Royal Bank of Scotland, which was owed £85 million by Game, have approved the change of ownership.

Staff at the Bolton shops declined to speak to The Bolton News.

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