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Game denies Dixons bid approach

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Game PLC boss Paul Lloyd-Roach is denying industry scuttlebutt that the retail chain received an offer for the company from Dixons. Speaking to the UK edition of games trade magazine MCV, he said: "People are always saying that we're about to be sold, but it just isn't the case. Dixons hasn't ever approached us." Usually, this sort of information is retailed through the Regulatory News Service, the London Stock Exchange newswire, that ensures that everyone can get share-sensitive news at the same time -- for a price. But then non-bid = non-story, right? Except that MCV appears to have latched onto something here. Bid or no bid, Game would be a perfect target for Dixons. Dixons is the UK’s biggest consumer electronics and PC retailer, but it is underweight in the entertainment software market. Game occupies exactly the market space that Dixons wants for @jakarta, its new high street retail format dedicated to the games/Internet market. At present, there are a measly 3 @jakarta stores. Dixons will also peddle product through @jakarta on its extraordinarily successful FreeServe Internet service. By buying Game, Dixons could massively accelerate the @jakarta roll-out. Game is the UK’s second biggest dedicated computer games retailer, behind Electronics Boutique. But it has experienced growing pains lately. On January 14, shares in Game slumped 38 per cent to 100.5p, after the company issued a profits warning. It blamed weak Christmas trading on product shortages, and later than scheduled opening of new stores, against a background of booming games software sales. Shares, currently at 101.5p, shows the company has much to do to recover investment sentiment. ®

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