Leisure retailer Game is to float on the stock exchange by early June, raising #10 million to fund the company's expansion plans.
Game is expected to be given a flotation value of over #100 million and plans to use the estimated #10 million raised from the move to give the company a better capital structure to protect against the seasonal nature of the retail business. It will also be used to fund the chain's growth.
Neil Taylor, chairman of Game, revealed: 'Game has announced its intention to float in late May or early June. We will be going for a full listing using institutional investors. People are already coming in to shops and asking if they can buy shares, but they can't apply for shares before flotation. It is very flattering, though.'
Taylor added that the chain has already isolated 150 possible store locations, but will target only 120 of these over the next three years. It currently has 65 stores.
Game is capitalising on the success of the Sony PlayStation - which has led to the consoles and software accounting for 25 per cent of Sony's global profits. Last week, Electronics Boutique announced increased profits of #8 million from just #500,000 one year ago.
Paul Donnelly, MD of Gem, commented: 'Companies like Game and Electronics Boutique are very professional retailers that are in control of their businesses. They have really come of age.'
See feature, page 33.
According to Donnelly, the software market is 'a bit like the music industry, driven by big releases. There are many launches planned, so it's going to be an even better period ahead. We're all experiencing good growth in a growth market'.
A raft of games will soon be appearing. Psygnosis will launch its first N64 title, Wipeout 2097, and even Microsoft is expected to jump on the bandwagon. A range of football games will also be released to coincide with the World Cup. Imminent titles are:
Resident Evil 2 - 29 April
Gran Turismo - 8 May
Forsaken - 15 May Incoming - 18 May
Three Lions England's Glory - 15 May
Quake III, Tekken III - TBA.
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