Tuesday 6 December 2016

AIB likely to call in guarantees from Yates as €4.5m still owed

Gordon Deegan

Published 06/12/2011 | 05:00

THE prospect of AIB calling in personal guarantees from Newstalk broadcaster and former government minister Ivan Yates over the collapse of Celtic Bookmakers has strengthened.

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This comes as documents lodged with the Companies Office show that AIB has received just €1.5m of the €6m it is owed by the business, with substantially all of its assets having been sold by receiver Neil Hughes.

The betting shop chain went into receivership in January after AIB appointed Mr Hughes of Hughes Blake accountants as receiver.

After Mr Hughes had been appointed, Mr Yates said: "Once the receiver has finished his work, there will be a residual debt (with AIB). I'll have to sit down with the bank and work that out."

A receiver's extract lodged with the Companies Office shows that Mr Hughes took possession of 23 trading betting shops on January 4 and by July 3 had sold the leasehold in all of the shops, realising €2.095m.

The document confirms the purchasers as Boyle Sports, Ladbrokes, O'Mara Bookmakers, Bambury Bookmakers, Paul Lamb and Andy Doyle.

It also confirmed that from these sales AIB received €1.5m -- and revealed that, as of July, there remained a deficit of €4.5m in what the bank was owed by the defunct bookmaker.

Mr Yates provided a personal guarantee to AIB for the company's €6m borrowings and in January admitted that he was 'fearful' of losing his home in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford.

Along with his income from Newstalk, Mr Yates also receives an Oireachtas pension from his 21 years as a Fine Gael TD for Wexford.

The Companies Office documents show that the receiver has been paid €141,350 in fees while legal fees totalled almost €100,000.

As receiver, Mr Hughes also had to pay €214,385 in "trading expenses" and €129,939 in employee claims.

Receiver

Celtic Bookmakers was established in 1987 when Mr Yates opened in Tramore, Co Waterford. When the business closed earlier this year, the company was operating 47 shops. A number of them were closed in the weeks after the appointment of the receiver.

Mr Hughes declined to comment yesterday.

Last year, Mr Yates had confirmed that he was saving more than €250,000 a year by getting his betting shop staff to clean the outlets themselves.

Mr Yates also confirmed that he didn't receive any salary from Celtic Bookmakers after overseeing a 25pc cut in payroll costs.

Irish Independent

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