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Goffs will chase 'bad debtors'

BLOODSTOCK auctioneer Goffs has warned it is pursuing boom-time buyers who fail to pay for their racehorses in the courts.

The Co Kildare-based firm has been revising bad debts of €5.7m in the last two years.

Henry Beeby, chief executive of Goffs, said the 145-year-old firm was taking a "stronger line" in terms of issuing credit to buyers. "Like all businesses, everyone was caught by the speed and depth of the downturn," he said.

The practice at all bloodstock auction houses throughout Europe is that the sellers of the thoroughbred horses are paid after 35 days regardless of whether the purchaser has actually handed over the money.

"Where people work with us, we will work with them, where people try to walk away, we will go after them," Mr Beeby said. He added that the 'bad debtors' were a wide mix of people including those involved in building and development.

"We have a number of cases in the legal process at the moment."

In 2007, the firm sold €127m worth of horses. That dropped to €45m last year. The company recorded a loss of €6.4m in 2010.

Irish Independent