Confirmed: As GAME UK stores rescued, Irish stores to remain closed

2 Apr 2012

UPDATE: While 3,200 jobs in 333 GAME stores have been saved in the UK through the acquisition of the retailer’s assets by Baker Acquisitions, the company’s 121 workers in 14 stores across the Republic of Ireland have been abandoned to their fate. A spokesman for OpCapita, which brokered the deal, confirmed with the Irish stores are not included in the deal.

It emerged yesterday that PricewaterhouseCoopers, administrator GAME and OpCapita LLP, a specialist in turnarounds, agreed to the terms of the deal.

Under the terms of the transaction, Baker Acquisitions will acquire the UK business out of administration and will provide it with the capital it needs to trade on a normalised basis. Baker will acquire all 333 UK stores that have remained open during the period of administration.

The agreement means that the jobs of nearly 3,200 GAME employees, who will transfer to Baker, have been safeguarded. Baker Acquisitions will also seek to re-employ a small number of staff who previously worked at GAME’s head office but who received redundancy notices last week. There are no plans for any further store closures.

Financial terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

Mike Jervis, administrator to The GAME Group plc and PwC party, said: “This means that the GAME brand will not be another one of the retail names disappearing from the high street in the current difficult climate.”

Questions to PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Republic of Ireland about the future of the GAME retail chain were directed to representatives of OpCapita in the UK.

A spokesman for OpCapita confirmed the rescue deal for GAME UK does not include the Irish store network. When asked if there would be any further negotiations regarding the Irish stores the spokesman said there would not.

Staff at GAME stores across Ireland over the weekend staged sit-in protests after it emerged they would have to apply to the Irish Government to get their redundancy payments.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years