Thursday 8 December 2016

€600,000 interest-free loan for Paddy Power worker who moved abroad

Published 06/09/2015 | 02:30

Paddy Power would not reveal who had received the interest-free loan
Paddy Power would not reveal who had received the interest-free loan

A Paddy Power manager was gifted with a €600,000 unsecured, interest-free loan last year.

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In April 2014, the group gave a loan of €609,529 - without requiring any collateral or guarantee and without any interest attached - to a member of its executive management team.

Paddy Power refused to reveal who the recipient of the valuable loan was.

A spokesman said the executive was given the loan because they moved overseas to take up another job within the group. The person has paid the loan off, they spokesman said.

Disclosing transactions with key management personnel in 2014, Paddy Power also revealed that non-executive director Stewart Kenny - one of the company's three co-founders - was paid €200,000 in 2014, and also in 2013, for consulting fees not linked to his director role.

The company also disclosed a transaction linked to Padraig O'Riordain, another non-executive director and also a partner at Arthur Cox, one of the state's biggest law firms. Arthur Cox billed the company €404,425 in 2014 for legal and tax advice.

Paddy Power's share price crested €100 this week - the first time that has ever happened for a company on the main market of the Irish Stock Exchange - after revealing plans to merge with rival bookmaker Betfair.

Around 200 shareholders are now paper millionaires, based on the number of accounts on Paddy Power's share register with holdings of 10,000 ordinary shares.

The companies are still finalising the terms of the merger, under which shareholders of Dublin-based Paddy Power would own 52pc of the merged entity and London-based Betfair's investors would hold the rest.

The merger will create the second-largest online betting company in the world, behind market leader Bet365.

Together, Paddy Power and Betfair have annual net winnings of €1.2bn, compared with about €1.7bn at market-leader Bet365.

The merger will give Paddy Power and Betfair greater scope to invest in both marketing and technology, keeping them ahead of the competition, according to Professor Leighton Vaughan Williams, director of the betting research unit at England's Nottingham Business School. "You live or die in the modern gambling world by your digital platforms," he said.

The deal is emblematic of a wider trend; gambling companies around the world are consolidating, with the industry announcing €8.1bn of deals this year alone.

Sunday Indo Business

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