Wednesday 17 January 2018

High Court approves survival plan for Ladbrokes in Ireland


Tim Healy

THE High Court has approved a survival plan for Ladbrokes 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 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 89pc and for landlords 19pc, counsel said. Thirty-four 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 90pc 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.

Irish Independent

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