Ladbrokes Gets Restructuring Protection

Ladbrokes Irish retail business has been granted court protection to restructure after suffering a €5 million loss last year. The process—similar to bankruptcy protection in the U.S.—allows the appointment of an interim examiner to arrange a deal with the company’s creditors.

Irish bookmaker Ladbrokes has been granted court protection to restructure its business following losses of €5 million euros in 2014.

The company announced that the “Directors of Irish trading subsidiaries, Ladbroke (Ireland) Limited, Ladbroke Leisure (Ireland) Limited and Dara Properties Limited (“Ladbrokes Ireland”) have successfully applied to the High Court in Dublin to seek the appointment of an interim examiner and to be provided with the protection of the court under the examinership procedure.”

The examinership provides court protection and allows the examiner to broker a “Scheme of Arrangement” with creditors to allow the company to trade as a sustainable business. The process should take about 100 days.

Ladbrokes Digital and Telephone businesses are not impacted by this process.

The move comes from new Ladbrokes CEO Jim Mullen, who said the division is being held back by ‘real estate legacy issues’.

“The action taken today by the directors of the Irish companies is to safeguard the Irish business which in its current state is not sustainable and cannot be supported by the Ladbrokes Board without radical change, having lost its competitive edge,” he said in a statement. “This step has been taken in the best long term interests of Ladbrokes Ireland, its employees, customers, partners and shareholders.

“In entering the process, our aim is to build a sustainable and competitive business based in Ireland, run from Ireland, investing in Ireland and supporting the Irish economy and sporting industry while delivering for shareholders,” Mullen said.

Mullen has also ordered an internal strategic review after a disappointing first quarter for the bookmaker.

Profit before tax and excluding one-off costs was £14.3m in the first three months of the year, compared to £35.6m in the last three months of 2014. Officials blamed the bad quarter on losses in football and racing betting as well as new gaming taxes in the UK.

Ladbrokes has 196 shops in Ireland and employs 840 people in Ireland.