March 23, 2012 5:19 pm

Rent bill delays Game administration

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Game Group could be placed into administration as early as Monday, as potential predators circle the troubled video games retailer.

According to people familiar with the situation, if Game had entered administration on Friday, the administrator may have been liable for its quarterly rent bill, due to be paid on Sunday.

Insolvency trade body R3 said Game was unlikely to be the only retailer facing “rent agony” this weekend, as many will be required to pay three months’ rent in advance.

Game, which employs 6,000 people in the UK, said on Wednesday that it had filed a notice to appoint administrators. The filing gave it five days breathing space.

OpCapita, the private equity group that bought Comet for £2 last year, made an offer for the group’s debts last week, before Game put administrators on standby. GameStop, the US video games retailer, also showed late interest, according to two people familiar with the situation, while Hilco, the retail restructuring group is looking at Game’s international assets.

Although some big store groups have been more upbeat this week, conditions remain difficult in the retail sector as consumers continue to be hit by rising fuel prices and increasingly, the prospect of rising food prices amid fears that dry conditions will affect crops.

However, the recent warm weather will have been good for fashion retailers, encouraging shoppers to buy into new spring ranges, and DIY chains, as consumers turn their attention to their gardens.

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