European retailer Game Group has acquired leading competitor Gamestation for €108m ($150m) from Blockbuster.
Blockbuster purchased Gamestation in October 2002 and grew the chain, which offers new and pre-owned video games, from 64 to 217 stores. It has now relinquished ownership of the stores to UK-based Game.
Game chairman Peter Lewis said, "We are delighted to bring Gamestation into our portfolio and believe it has a strong future within the group. The Gamestation business is one we have long admired and is complementary to our existing business in terms of both store portfolio and target customer.
“By investing in both brands we will further enhance the group’s retail strategy while continuing to deliver and broaden our consumer reach. I am confident that this transaction will add considerable value to Game and its shareholders over the coming years," he added.
Gamestation reported revenues of €298.7m and profit of €3.08m for the year ended December 31, 2006. Game Group will continue to operate both the Game and Gamestation brands, with the efficiency of Gamestation set to be improved through integration with the existing infrastructure and facilities of the Game Group.
John Antioco, Blockbuster chairman and CEO said, "Gamestation is a terrific brand that has performed well during our ownership. While we believe Gamestation is positioned for ongoing success, today’s announcement underscores our intent to focus on our Blockbuster-branded assets in North America in support of our goal to grow our overall share of the video rental market, both in-store and online."