Mike Ashley becomes GAME’s largest shareholder

Yesterday GAME Digital announced that its largest single investor, US firm Elliott, had disposed of its entire holdings in the firm. That immediately meant that Mike Ashley, became the largest single investor in the company, according to The Retail Gazette this morning.

Ashley first took an interest in the retailer last summer, buying a 26 per cent share, and then invested further in GAME’s Belong brand earlier this year – all via his wholly owned Sports Direct. Then came a deal to set up Belong arenas in Sports Direct stores along with possible GAME concessions.

Elliott, a major american investment fund, which is known for investing in troubled companies. Disposed of 37 per cent of GAME yesterday, we’re trying to find out at present who bought up the holdings. It owned the holdings through its Duodi investment vehicle, and its member of the GAME board is standing down following the sale.

That leaves Mike Ashley as the biggest single shareholder, and it’s he could take full control of GAME it seems if he so desired – with the Elliott’s shares likely to be available to him. Major shareholders in the company now include:

Miton Group plc 13.1%
Canaccord (on behalf of discretionary clients) – 11.8017%
J O Hambro Capital Management Limited – 5.12%

Martyn Gibbs, Chief Executive Officer of GAME Digital, commented in a statement: “Elliott has been an engaged investor, and I would like to thank them for their support of GAME as we developed the operations and strategy of the business over the last six years. We have devised a strong growth strategy and are now well positioned to drive the transformation of our business, as we move from a seller of physical products to a provider of gaming experiences.”

About Seth Barton

Seth Barton is the editor of MCV – which covers every aspect of the industry: development, publishing, marketing and much more. Before that Seth toiled in games retail at Electronics Boutique, studied film at university, published console and PC games for the BBC, and spent many years working in tech journalism. Living in South East London, he divides his little free time between board games, video games, beer and family. You can find him tweeting @sethbarton1.

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