Friday 23 June 2017

High Court approves survival plan for Ladrokes bookmakers in Ireland: 51 shops to close and 90 jobs to go

The rescue plan involves closing 60 out of its 196 shops  and the loss of 250 of  840 jobs.
The rescue plan involves closing 60 out of its 196 shops  and the loss of 250 of  840 jobs.

THE High Court has approved a survival plan for Ladrokes bookmakers in Ireland.

It involves a €12.8m investment by its UK parent Ladrokes Betting and Gaming Ltd.

As a result, it can exit from court protection this Friday at 4pm, Mr Justice Brian Cregan said.

The court heard the investment includes around €3.8m to pay off debts, €5m to provide working capital and €4m for capital expenditure purposes.

The details were in a report from examiner Kenneth Fennell of Deloitte who was appointed by the court to come up with a rescue scheme.

The rescue plan involves closing 51 of its 196 shops and the loss of 90 of 840 jobs

The directors of Irish arms of the company, Ladbroke (Ireland) Ltd, Ladbroke Leisure (Ireland) Ltd and Dara Properties Ltd petitioned the court for protection last April.

It followed several years of declining profits in Ladbrokes Ireland culminating in a loss after interest and tax of over €5m in the last financial year.

Seeking approval for the scheme, Lyndon MacCann SC, for the examiner, said Mr Fennell was of the view the survival plan will facilitate Ladbrokes in trading as a going concern.

Preferential creditors are to be paid in full while the dividend for trade creditors will be 89 per cent and for landlords 19 per cent, counsel said.

Some 34 shops had closed before the examinership, leases on 29 were repudiated and leases on 52 others were renegotiated, counsel said.

Although there were letters of unhappiness from two creditors, virtually all unsecured creditors voted in favour of the scheme.   Out of 80 creditor landlords, only one voted against, counsel said.

If the company was to be wound up, preferential creditors would have got 90 per cent of what they are owed while landlord and trade creditors would have got nothing. 

Mr Justice Cregan said he was satisfied to approve the scheme.

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