BASINGSTOKE-based GAME Group has rebooted as GAME Digital plc and has announced its intention to float on the London Stock Exchange.

The company, which describes itself as the leading omni-channel specialist retailer of video games in the UK and Spain, has headquarters at Unity House, in Telford Road, on the Houndmills Industrial Estate, where around 250 people are employed.

The float is expected to value the company at £400 million and could take place before the end of June.

The news is a far cry from when the company was plunged into administration back in March 2012, as the future looked very bleak for the company then known as GAME Group.

American hedge fund Elliott Advisors, which owns more than 90 per cent of GAME, will retain a significant stake in the restructured business, which recently posted underlying earnings of £50.8 million in the six months to January 2014.

GAME now operates 560 stores across the UK and Spain – including one in Festival Place – in addition to its eCommerce and mCommerce channels and an award-winning UK app.

The company is a market leader in the video game markets, selling an impressive range of new and pre-owned gaming and gaming-related products, including hardware, physical and digital content, accessories, licensed merchandise and GAMEWare – its own-label brand – as well as mobile devices and movies.

December 2013 figures showed that GAME has a 33 per cent share of the new video game content, hardware and accessories market, by revenue, in the UK and a 35 per cent market share in Spain.

Non-executive chairman David Hamid, said: “The turnaround of the GAME business is remarkable.

“GAME in the UK has been transformed and strengthened, while GAME in Spain has proved its resilience.

“The group now has exciting prospects for the future, and I pay tribute to the colleagues within the business who have achieved this. We have a great team.
“The retail landscape is ever-changing and the business has proved it is capable of taking advantage of that pace of change.

“I look forward, in particular, to rolling out our ground-breaking digital strategy, which should underpin the business for many years to come.”
Chief executive Martyn Gibbs said: “GAME has built a strong platform with the continued support of its store and central teams, its supplier partners and customers.

“The business is now well set to capitalise on the growing market for gaming content, digital or physical, new or pre-owned.

“A public listing will support our long-term strategy as we develop our digital offering in all our channels.

“We’ve had tremendous support from the industry since starting our new company, and we now offer our customers significant benefits in terms of their store experience, access to our trained and knowledgeable store teams, access to digital content, and a widening range of products.”