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GameStop boosted by billionaire hedge fund

Bridgewater Associates ups stake in troubled games retailer, plus new investment from quant firm Renaissance

Leading US games retailer GameStop has attracted the support of fresh investors as it attempts to build on the momentum seen in financial reports earlier this year.

Bloomberg reports that Bridgewater Associates, the hedge fund created by billionaire Ray Dalio, has increased its stake in the chain by roughly 1.67 million shares, giving it a 3.10% position among GameStop's stakeholders.

The investment followed hot on the heels of Renaissance, a quantitative analysis firm, taking a 1.6% stake in the company, a move made just hours before.

However, there were some investors who are less confident about GameStop's prospects. Two Sigma Investments gave up its 2.1% stake, while global asset manager Sprott downsized its own stake by 50,000 shares.

The new investment is positive news following the surprise departure of CEO Mike Mauler, who resigned from the firm last week for personal reasons. Mauler had only taken on the position in February, taking over from J. Paul Raines who left to due to the re-appearance of a brain tumour and sadly passed away in March.

There has been a lot of turnover within the retailer's management recently, as COO Tony Bartel and EVP Michael Hogan were terminated without cause back in February.

GameStop has been suffering over the past couple of years, but the release of the Nintendo Switch and ongoing strength of PlayStation 4 drove strong financial results in 2017. The retailer saw global sales increase to $9.2 billion with a net income of $34.7 million.

However, Q4 results were less promising with a net loss of $105.9 million reported for what should be the busiest period of the year. It also saw an $359.8 million operating loss last year thanks to a change in the dealer compensation structure for AT&T, which affected its technology brands business.

Nonetheless, the new investment and activity around it meant GameStop's shares were up by 1.89% when trading closed yesterday.

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James Batchelor

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James Batchelor has been a journalist in the games industry since 2006, joining GamesIndustry in 2016, and also runs Non-Violent Game of the Day (@NVGOTD). He does play violent games, but always on Story/Easy mode.

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