Game Digital has agreed to a £52m takeover by Sports Direct, a British retailing group owned by Mike Ashley.

Sports Direct has unconditionally agreed to buy 14.9 million shares in Game Digital at a price of 30 pence a unit.

Game Digital said the offers represents a fair value for the group and intends to recommend that shareholders accept it.

It is understood that Game Digital had little choice but to accept the offer from Sports Direct, whose shareholding in the group has been increasing.

Game Digital was also depending on Sports Direct for supporting its plans for growth, which include the future introduction of Belong and GAME venues, combined with the ongoing industry headwinds, existing negative retail market outlook and the likely elongated current console lifecycle which are estimated to impact the company’s future financial performance.

Game Digital said it sees significant opportunity with Belong, and accepting Sports Direct’s offer will see increased financial and operating support.

In a statement, the company said: “The board wishes to recognise the efforts of the GAME management team in driving the broader transformation strategy, the launch of Belong and delivering significant efficiencies and right-sizing throughout the business to position better the Company to navigate the challenging and evolving markets in which it operates.”

Canaccord Genuity Limited is acting exclusively for Game Digital in connection with the offer. Canaccord is authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Game Digital has more than 550 stores in the UK and Spain with a customer database of 19 million in both countries.

Belong is Game Digital’s leisure experience, which brings video-gaming to high streets, shopping centres and communities nationwide.

Ads Reality is the company’s visual recognition and augmented reality business. It is pioneering the use of new technologies to reach gamers and business partners outside its main markets.