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Game accepts Electronics Boutique offer

Merged companies to retain own branding

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Electronics Boutique (EB) today announced a recommended cash and share bid for fellow electronics retailer, Game, at 134.3 pence. This morning's offer valued the share capital of Game at around £99.2 million, on the basis of 41.7 pence in cash plus 1.09 new EB shares for each Game share. The company planned to keep Game as a separate brand, according to EB CEO John Steinbrecher. "We feel there's a value with the two brands and we'll take every effort to keep the two brands separate," said Steinbrecher. EB and Game targeted two different types of customer, he maintained. "Game stores have a lot of video screens and music playing and tend to be in darker colours and we think that attracts more of the HMV/Virgin type of customer as opposed to EB which attracts more the Dixons or Woolworths type of customer." Steinbrecher added that the move would strengthen EB's UK presence, enabling the entertainment software giant to develop a second brand and position itself for planned European expansion. EB confirmed reports that it was in "preliminary discussions" with Game in February over a possible recommended offer (see earlier story). EB shares were down 2.8 at 81.5 pence this afternoon. Game shares were up five pence at 126p. EB also posted pretax profit of £15.25 million for its year ended 31 January 1999, against £8 million the previous year. Sales rose to £159.43 million from £124.32. ®

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