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Entertainment retailer GAME acquires Multiplay for £20m

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Having re-listed on the London Stock Exchange in June 2014, its most recent full-year figures in October 2014 showed the business had boosted revenues by 31 per cent and moved out of an operating loss to a profit of £24.8m.

To further increase its growth, GAME has shelled out £20m for Multiplay – a business that was founded in 1997 and has organised in excess of 150 gaming events in the UK and overseas. Clients include Electric Arts and Ubisoft, with its largest event – Insomnia – attracting 67,000 people in 2014.

Explaining the acquisition further, GAME CEO Martyn Gibbs said: “The world of live events, eSports and multiplayer gaming is growing rapidly and one we have been looking to enter for some time.

“By acquiring Multiplay we are benefitting from nearly two decades of experience, during which time Multipay has built an exceptional reputation and leading position in its markets. Multiplay has a great management team and fantastic culture – their passion and enthusiasm for games is infectious.”

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According to a statement, GAME will satisfy £12.6m of the total £20m consideration using cash reserves, with the remaining £7.4m payable in cash and shares over the coming three years.

Going forward, Multiplay founder and CEO Craig Fletcher will continue to lead his business, but report directly to Gibbs. All of the company’s 50 staff will retain their jobs and operate from its base in New Forest.

Fletcher commented: “Over the years we’ve worked closely with the GAME team on many occasions and come to know them well. Our businesses are culturally aligned and I am looking forward to joining with Martyn and the team.

“Being part of GAME means that together we can offer our communities so much more than we ever could have independently and can more rapidly realise our growth aspirations.”

When GAME went into administration in 2014 it was saved when turnaround private equity firm OpCapita stepped in to provide investment. It then rebranded from GAME to GAME Digital to have a physical store presence, ecommerce and mcomerce omni-channel offering.

In buying Multiplay, GAME believes it will be able to increase its presence in the digital PC games market and further support its desire to both growth the size of its gaming communities and provides new products, services and gaming experiences.

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