GameStop Agrees to Acquire Geeknet, Trumping Hot Topic

GameStop Corp. agreed to acquire Geeknet Inc. in a deal valued at $140 million, trumping Geeknet’s previous agreement with teen-focused retailer Hot Topic Inc.

GameStop will pay $20 a share for Geeknet, as the videogame retailer seeks to expand its presence in the game-related merchandise and collectibles category.

Hot Topic had agreed to pay $17.50 a share for Geeknet for a total consideration of $122 million. On Friday, Geeknet said Hot Topic had until Monday to match or beat the latest bid.

A Hot Topic spokesman declined to comment Tuesday. Hot Topic, which was taken private by Sycamore Partners in 2013, sells apparel and accessories influenced by music and pop culture through its namesake stores.

GameStop will reimburse Geeknet for the 3% termination fee that will be paid to Hot Topic.

Geeknet is the parent company of online retailers ThinkGeek and ThinkGeek Solutions, which sell an assortment of clothing, gadgets and videogame-themed merchandise targeted at so-called geeks and hackers.

GameStop said the deal’s value includes Geeknet’s $37 million of cash and cash equivalents as of March 31.

Shares of GameStop slid 1.2% to $42.93 in morning trading.

Geeknet stockholders representing about 21% of shares outstanding have agreed to tender their shares to the offer, which is expected to close in the second quarter.

Shares of Geeknet, which were at $7.90 before announcing last week its agreement with Hot Topic, added 4 cents to $19.82.

By Tess Stynes www.wsj.com