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Business & Economy

Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct makes £51.9 million offer for GAME – but warns over potential job cuts and store closures

Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct International has made a £51.9 million bid for a computer game and console chain – but warned jobs and stores could be lost in the deal.

The high street sportswear retailer has offered 30p a share for GAME, with the acquisition expected to settle tomorrow (Friday, June 7),

However, the company, led by the Newcastle United owner, has warned the deal could result in job losses and shop closures.

According to its rescue plan for GAME, the retailer said it wants to use its experience and provide financial support to “secure the future of GAME and navigate the challenging conditions it faces.”

It said it will conduct a review into GAME’s retail estate, to the extent of assessing whether some of its stores could be moved into Sports Direct.

It also confirmed it will invest and expand GAME’s Belong gaming arena venture, which includes sites in Gateshead and Stockton.

Sports Direct’s review is expected to be ongoing for the first year after completion of the deal and to result in cost savings associated with GAME no longer being a public company.

Bosses added they have no intention of changing GAME’s research and development functions, or making any material changes to employment conditions, including pension contributions.

A spokesperson said: “The retail and gaming sectors are fast-moving and currently subject to challenging conditions.

“Sports Direct does not believe that, as a standalone business, GAME is able to weather the pressures that it is facing.

“The offer will secure GAME’s future and allow it to navigate these pressures while contributing to GAME’s long-term sustainability by escalating the evolution of the Belong business and accelerating the next stage of GAME’s development.”