The Cork bookmaker has come under increasing pressure in recent years, notably from Ladbrokes and Paddy Powers.
Ladbrokes spokeswoman Hayley O’Connor said: “It is the right deal at the right time. It is a good strategic fit for our estate as we are already well represented in Cork. We also plan to invest €750,000-plus in refurbishing and upgrading all the units.”
Of the five businesses acquired by Ladbrokes, three are located in Cork, in Maylor Street, Shandon Street and Dillon’s Cross. The remaining two premises are in Kanturk and Mitchelstown.
Ladbrokes said that they will retain 17 of the existing staff, and while the shops are finding trading challenging, Ladbrokes says the outlets have long-term growth potential. Ladbrokes is the largest bookmaker in Ireland, where it has 207 locations. It has 78 in the North.
Hayley O’Connor added: “Our priority will be the existing staff and clients. While the betting industry is finding current market conditions difficult we are hopeful reform of current legislation will create the right conditions for the industry to return to growth. These shops are good locations and we will aim to develop the businesses in the long term.”
Cashmans will retain the remaining six shops and the telephone business. When contacted by the Irish Examiner yesterday, Cashmans declined to comment on the deal.
No figure was released on the value of the Ladbrokes takeover of the five premises, but it is understood that Cashmans will retain ownership of the premises and Ladbrokes will pay rent for their use. Industry sources suggest the deal is valued at close to €1.4m.
Yesterday’s coup by Ladbrokes could prove very timely, with some uncertainty about what next week’s budget could hold for the bookmaking industry.
Ladbrokes and Paddy Powers are in expansion mode despite the impact of the downturn on the sector as a whole.
Last month Paddy Power announced plans to create 250 jobs in Dublin over the next three years.