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Mike Ashley makes £51.9m offer for Game after increasing stake

Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct has made a £51.9m offer for the gaming retailer Game Digital after it increasing its stake from 20% to 38.5%.

Sports Direct acquired the shares from Marlborough UK Micro-Cap Growth Fund passing the 30% threshold requiring Ashley to make an offer for the shares he does not control under City rules.

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange Sports Direct said it was making a final offer of 30p-per-share to other stockholders – a premium of 27% based on Game’s closing price on Tuesday night of 23.55p.

Sports Direct 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.

“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 whilst contributing to Game’s long term sustainability by escalating the evolution of the Belong business and accelerating the next stage of Game’s development.”    

At the time of writing Game shares have increased by 23% to 29p of the back of the news. The deal would also be Ashley’s first since a move for Debenhams collapsed in April.

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