GAME Group collapse assets could leave creditors £131.2m out of pocket

Administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that the financial gulf left by the demise of GAME Group will total 131.2m, according to documents obtained by MCV.

The company’s most valuable asset was Gamestation, which had a book value of 86.2m. This compares to GAME’s book value of 37m.

GAME’s Czech Republic operations were its third most valuable asset (3.6m) followed by GAME Iberia (3.2m), etailer Gameplay (2.1m) and GAME Sweden (656k).

GAME Digital was worth just 50k.

However, PwC anticipates that it will be left 131.2m short after the sale of all remaining assets is complete.

HMRC are expected to be left 33m out of pocket and shareholders will see their remuneration fall 17m short. The Group’s VAT liability is estimated at 33m.

GAME’s debts at the time of going into administration on March 26th 2012 were 90m. An additional 8m was held by Group’s credit card processing provider when the administrator was appointed and could yet be paid back.

Interestingly, it has also emerged that the Group was only able to pay staff wages up until March 26th following the decision of the former directors to establish an Employee Trust, which at the time of entering administration contained 3.29m.

Former employees are able to claim for accrued and unpaid wages and accrued and unpaid holiday pay with a limit of 800 per head.

However, PwC believes that all staff were paid arrears of wages up until the date of administration. In addition, GAME’s holiday year ran until March 31st, with no ability to carry over unpaid holiday time. This leaves only a five day window. PwC does not anticipate any claims to be made by former staff.

The company’s Supplier Trust was worth 3.33m at the time of entering administration. Its HMRC Trust was worth 1.05m.

In addition, Game Retail Limited – the company to emerge from the ashes of GAME after OpCapita’s successful buyout of its UK operations, has also been deemed liable for a Natwest mortgage payment dating back to February 17th 1994. The value of this has not been revealed.

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