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GAME puts itself up for sale - report

Stock drops to all-time low as the retailer battles to avoid administration

UK retailer GAME Group has put itself up for sale in a bid to avoid collapse, The Sunday Times reports.

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The firm is seeking a buyer in a last-ditch bid to raise cash to meet a quarterly rent bill due in two weeks. Failure to do so could see GAME enter administration and jeopardise 10,000 jobs, according to the broadsheet.

Sources told the paper that financial advisory group Rothschild has been appointed to find a buyer, and Deloitte has been lined up to handle insolvency should the retailer enter administration.

The company is still hopeful of striking a deal with a potential buyer such as US firm GameStop, which has been linked with an acquisition of GAME's Iberian business.

Over the past few months, credit insurance problems have resulted in GAME's inability to stock a host of big new releases, including EA's chart-topping Mass Effect 3, Capcom's Street Fighter X Tekken and Asura's Wrath, and Nintendo's Mario Party 9.

The retailer's stock dropped to an all-time low of under 1p this morning, from a record high of 300p in mid-2008. It currently sits at 1.10p.

GAME released the following statement this morning in response to press speculation:

Further to GAME's announcement of 29th February 2012 and recent press speculation, the Group confirms that it remains in discussions with its suppliers and lenders in relation to terms of trade that allow the business to operate within the facility provided by its banking syndicate, as announced on 3 February 2012, and to meet its revised strategic plan. While these discussions are ongoing, it has not been possible to source new products from a number of suppliers.

The Board of GAME is working actively to resolve these issues as quickly as possible. This includes ongoing discussions with suppliers, seeking access to the original facility or alternative sources of funding, and reviewing the position of all of its assets in the UK and international territories.

It is uncertain whether any of the solutions currently being explored by the Board will be successful or will result in any value being attributed to the shares of the Company.

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