Game Group
An RBS-led takeover bid could be announced before the weekend

UPDATE 2: Sources close to the matter have revealed that a rescue package for the video game retailer Game Group is being finalised, saving 333 stores and 3,100 jobs.

Both Sky News and BBC business editor Robert Peston said on Sunday morning that Game's lender RBS and administrator PwC have agreed to allow OpCapita to take over the majority of the group.

Game Group - which owns the Game and Gamestation video game retailers - will be bought out by OpCapita, which bought the electronics retailer Comet for £2 late last year.

It is expected that the group and OpCapita will announce the takeover on Monday, 2 April.

UPDATE 1: Both the Game and Gamestation websites came back online this afternoon, after previously being "down for maintenance" while the group was taken into administration. The re-opening of the websites gives hope that a buyer has been found and that the company will be taken over by RBS soon.

Original story:

A successful bidder for the video game retailer Game could be announced as soon as Friday, far earlier than predicted as PwC is poised to announce that Game Group's six lenders are set to make a bid.

City AM reports that sources close to Game Group - which owns retailers Game and Gamestation and went into administration last week - claim that the group's lenders, led by state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland, are to take over the company.

The lender-led offer for takeover would see a debt-for-equity swap for Game Group's remaining 332 UK stores, after 277 were forced to close last week following PwC's dramatic plans for restructuring began.

Having had its bid rejected before the group went into administration, OpCapita - which bought electrical retailer Comet for £2 late last year - has resubmitted an offer for parts of the company.

City Am reports that Hilco and US gaming rival GameStop are also in the running to buy Game Group, with the American retailer thought to be interested in the group's 600 international stores in France, Australia, Sweden, Denmark, Norway.

After taking over the stricken video game retailer PwC wasted no time in slimming down the business, closing down 277 branches with immediate effect resulting in the loss of 2,104 jobs, plus a further 15 jobs at the group's Basingstoke headquarters. CEO Ian Shepherd also stepped down.

Following this, the administrators reactivated Game's reward card system, which had previously been suspended, allowing shoppers to earn loyalty points on everything they buy - however, the points can only be spent on pre-owned stock and not on new products.

Game and Gamestation's gift cards can still not be used.

The group fell apart earlier this month when game developers and hardware manufacturers stopped supplying Game with stock, fearing that the group would be unable to pay suppliers back.

Blockbusters games like Mass Effect 3 were not stocked by Game or Gamestation, forcing customers to shop elsewhere. This had a knock-on effect and saw improved trade for independent video game retailers, such as Barkman Computers of Kingston, who IBTimes UK spoke to in an exclusive interview.

What started as stock problems, ended in the group owning millions of pounds in rent, wages, tax and debt, and widespread closures with thousands of jobs lost. IBTimes UK analyse what went wrong for the group.