Ladbrokes seeks High Court’s protection

Betting chain may have to cut 250 jobs and close 60 of its 196 betting shops in Republic

Ladbrokes branch in Irishtown, Dublin: the betting chain lost €5 million in 2014.  An examinership, focused solely on its betting shops in the Republic, is likely to run for the full 100 days allowed by law. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Ladbrokes branch in Irishtown, Dublin: the betting chain lost €5 million in 2014. An examinership, focused solely on its betting shops in the Republic, is likely to run for the full 100 days allowed by law. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

 

About 250 jobs and 60 betting shops are at risk following bookmaker Ladbrokes decision to seek High Court protection for its retail business in the Republic.

Mr Justice Brian McGovern appointed Ken Fennell of Deloitte as interim examiner to three group companies, Ladbrokes Ireland, Ladbrokes Leisure Ireland and Dara Properties yesterday, and granted them High Court protection from their creditors to allow them begin restructuring.

Sources estimate the chain may have to cut about 250 jobs from its 840-strong workforce and close 50-60 of its 196 betting shops in the Republic to rescue the business, which lost €5 million in 2014.

While Ladbrokes did not indicate how many jobs are likely to be lost, its statement said the restructuring is likely to lead to redundancies at all levels, with the final number dependent on shop closures.

Jackie Murphy, retail director at Ladbrokes Ireland, said the chain was fully committed to working with staff and he hoped the “vast majority of any necessary redundancies will be voluntary”.

The case is due back before the High Court on May 1st.

If it confirms Mr Fennell’s appointment, the examinership, focused solely on its betting shops in the Republic, is likely to run for the full 100 days allowed by law.

Rescue plan

Mr Murphy stressed its shops would continue taking and paying out on bets as usual. Its online, telephone and northern Irish outlets will not be affected.

Ladbrokes plc indicated expensive leases, entered into during the property bubble, were the primary culprits for the problems in the Republic.