Bookmaker Ladbrokes Ireland, is seeking High Court protection from its creditors and warns it will have to cut jobs in a bid to rescue the loss-making business.
London-listed Ladbrokes, said on Tuesday that the High Court has appointed Ken Fennell as interim examiner to three Irish subsidiaries, Ladbroke (Ireland), Ladbroke Leisure and Dara Properties.
The court has also granted them protection, effectively barring creditors from enforcing any debts against the three companies for up to three months.
The companies’ directors applied to the court for its protection and for Mr Fennell’s appointment.
“The decision to seek examinership follows several years of declining profits in Ladbrokes Ireland culminating in a loss after interest and tax of over €5 million in the last financial year,” a statement said.
Ladbrokes plc chief executive, Jim Mullen, described the action as regrettable but absolutely necessary to safeguard the Irish business.
“This step has been taken in the best long term interests of Ladbrokes Ireland, its employees, customers, partners and shareholders,” he added.
Ladbrokes Ireland retail director, Jackie Murphy, warned that the examinership is likely to lead to the loss of some of its 840 jobs.
“We are fully committed to work with all our staff through this difficult time and would hope that the vast majority of any necessary redundancies will be voluntary,” he said.
Examinership allows troubled or insolvent companies, with a reasonable prospect of survival, up to 100 days to come up with a rescue plan.
Ladbrokes stressed in its statement that it will be business as usual for its 196 betting shops, while its digital and telephone betting operations will not be affected.