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Receiver appointed to Ivan Yates' Celtic Bookmakers

Businessman, radio presenter and former government minister Ivan Yates confirms that a receiver has been appointed by AIB to his business.

THE WEXFORD-BASED NATIONAL CHAIN Celtic Bookmakers has gone into receivership.

Company directors Ivan and Deirdre Yates have confirmed that AIB has appointed Neil Hughes of Hughes Blake Accountants as receiver for the chain.

In a statement, the couple said that revenue at the business had fallen by 50% since the middle of 2007.

Despite reducing its costs from €17m to €12m and closing 12 of its premises, “trading conditions in 2010 continued to deteriorate and have prevented the company from securing a suitable merger, refinancing or restructuring despite many months of management effort in this regard”.

They said the receiver will work to sell as many of the shops as a going concern as is possible, with a view to retaining as many jobs as possible. All bets will be honoured, according to the statement, as there is “adequate working capital available” to cover them.

Over 230 people work at the 47 Celtic Bookmakers betting shops around the country. Two of the businesses betting shops in South Wales are not affected by the receivership, but are on the market.

Ivan Yates, a presenter on the national morning radio show Breakfast on Newstalk and who served as Minister for Agriculture in the mid-90s, said:

Today is a profoundly sad day for our employees, for our families and for ourselves. I take this opportunity to express our deep appreciation to all of our wonderful staff, managers, great customers, landlords and suppliers for their support and loyalty over the past 23 years.

Celtic Bookmakers closed two of its shops last month as a result of “a severe decline in turnover”. Andrew Yates, Ivan’s son, told TheJournal.ie that they had decided to cease their telesales services in mid-November.

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