The Irish Times has issued a report in its business section stating that local betting group Boylesports is endeavoring to take over Ladbrokes, the loss-making Irish retail business that has been placed under High Court protection from its creditors in order to allow it to restructure the business.
Ladbrokes has been attempting to employ a rescue plan for the loss-making chain with Ken Fennell of Deloitte, the examiner appointed by the High Court to oversea a rescue bid, preparing to close up to 60 of Ladbrokes 196 betting shops in the Republic and also cut approximately 250 jobs.
Despite the fact that the plan may involve some closures, the newspaper quotes sources who say that this plan offers creditors a much better deal.
Privately owned Boylesports has, however, approached the examiner and is currently in talks with him with regard to an alternative plan. Boyles first approached Fennel in late April, shortly after his appointment was confirmed by the High Court.
Although the proposals made by Boylesports are also likely to include closures of betting shops, it will involve offering better terms to creditors, which is chiefly made up of landlords, than the proposal that Ladbrokes has put on the table.
Several landlords are totally dissatisfied with the compensation proposals with one landlord revealing that he had only been offered a ludicrous amount of €12,000 to €24,000 on a lease on which €467,500 is due over the following five years. Yet another landlord claims that he has been offered compensation of €6.000 on a lease that had a five year life at a return of €275,000.
Boylesports will be required to get any bid past the Commission for Competition and Consumer Protection which could demand that Boylesports offloads certain outlets to another operator before being allowed to take over its rival.
According to John Boyle, the chief executive and founder of Boylesports, they are committed to ensuring that they have the best shops in the best locations for their customers. He also said that they have been very active in recent years in making sure that need is met and they remain open to opportunities as and when they arise.