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Anaglogs Daughter
07 Mar 12 11:51
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Date Joined: 05 Jan 10
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By Donal O'Donovan irishindependent.ie


Wednesday March 07 2012

BROADCASTER Ivan Yates will next week come face to face with the creditors he owes €6m as the final carve-up of his collapsed business empire begins.

Mr Yates called a crunch meeting with those who supplied and lent money to his Celtic Bookmakers firm, which once boasted 60 shops and an annual turnover of close to €200m.

Now suppliers who were left out of pocket when the chain collapsed will be asked to back Mr Yates's plan to put the business into liquidation.

It means any remaining assets will be sold off to pay the debts of the firm.

Following the dramatic collapse of the business last year, Mr Yates admitted he could be financially wiped out, losing everything including his home and farm in Co Wexford.

The former Fine Gael minister took out personal guarantees on business loans which means he is liable for assets not owned by the company, such as the farm and house, which are valued at €2m.

He was unavailable for comment last night on the latest state of play in his troubled finances.

He has previously described the process of winding up his empire as "purgatory" and considered leaving the country to avail of the UK's more lenient bankruptcy laws.

The high-profile former politician, businessman and current broadcaster has now called a "creditors' meeting" for Dublin on Friday week, March 16.

It is the final act in the spectacular rise and fall of Celtic Bookmakers, the chain owned and managed by Mr Yates and his wife Deirdre.

In a notice yesterday, Mr Yates asked creditors to come forward and say how much they are owed ahead of the meeting at the Pearse Hotel.

He called the meeting himself. That means he is expected to be there in person to sit down with the suppliers.

Mr Yates gave up a successful political career to pursue his business dreams. During the economic boom the husband and wife team led the business through a rapid expansion, opening stores across Ireland and even expanding into Wales.

But by 2011 losses were mounting. High rents and falling incomes sounded a death knell for the business.

Receivers took control of the business in January last year.

But Mr Yates is still liable for €5m bank loans taken out by the business because he gave personal guarantees

That kind of personal commitment to repay company loans has become common here, but flies in the face of the old "limited liability" rules that used to treat limited companies and directors as separate.

The guarantees means Mr Yates is on the hook even for personal assets never owned by the company, such as the farm and family home at Blackstoops Enniscorthy, Co Wexford

However, over the last year he has been one of the most outspoken of the businessmen brought down by the wider economic collapse.

Liquidation

He has described the Irish insolvency process as "purgatory" and has publicly considered leaving the country to go to Wales.

Since Celtic Bookmakers was taken over by the receivers, Mr Yates has increased an already high media profile.

He now co-hosts a radio show on Newstalk, writes a weekly column for the 'Irish Examiner' and is a regular stand in for Vincent Brown on TV3, which he was due to host last night.

The main business of the meeting is to set out the total value of the remaining company assets and the total amount of debt owed. Creditors will then be able to calculate what, if any, recovery they can make from the collapse once those key figures are totted up.

Most will struggle to make any real recovery on the Celtic Bookers debts because the bank has a charge over its assets -- putting it at the head of the queue for any cash the business can recover.

They will also be asked to vote to liquidate the company and mark a final end to Ivan Yates's betting empire.

- Donal O'Donovan
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Report freddiek March 7, 2012 12:01 PM GMT
not a FineGayler myself but thought he was one of the more likeable ones when in politics

how he managed to fook the bookies up, god knows
Report db1974 March 7, 2012 12:02 PM GMT
Creditors meeting is on Gold Cup Day!
Report dj876 March 7, 2012 12:43 PM GMT
Drawing td and ministerial pension since the age of 43,currently €49,ooo p.a.
Report neill d March 7, 2012 1:07 PM GMT
An honourable man or a fool, probably both, there was no reason why he had to lose his farm, he did that to himself chasing his losses. Nice guy all the same though and he'll be around in the media for a long time to come.
Report ko2 March 7, 2012 1:14 PM GMT
them td and ministerial pension are ridiculous
Report neill d March 7, 2012 1:22 PM GMT
I think those pensions could be garnished because it's his personal debt, the lot is going to the banks anyway unfortunately
Report neill d March 7, 2012 1:24 PM GMT
He'll be disqualified for a lot longer from things like directorships over here, surprised he didn't go to UK as with his experience, you'd think he could land a big job with a betting company over there.
Report Anaglogs Daughter March 7, 2012 2:51 PM GMT
freddiek     07 Mar 12 12:01 
not a FineGayler myself but thought he was one of the more likeable ones when in politics

how he managed to fook the bookies up, god knows

He use to have 10 offers up in his shops. 1/4 ALL RACES incl Maidens, Dead Heat  i know is once on a blue moon but if you had a 5/1 shot that dead heated it wasn't full odds to half your money it was Double the odds to your full stake. so instead of having a tenner on the horse it worked out £5 @ 5/1 DH = £30 you'd get £10 @10/1 =£110. Money back if your dog finished 2nd, Four times the odds on one winner in a L15/31/63 he had all mad lunatic offers that would clean any bookie out
Report Blackwater March 7, 2012 3:32 PM GMT
I suspect it was a boring combination of extortionate rents and falling turnover that did for him rather than the occasionally generous special offers.

You would have to wonder about some of the other firms at the moment. Ivan was far from the only guy to expand aggressively just before the country hit the buffers.
Report mitch leary March 7, 2012 4:33 PM GMT
most of his shops were in crap areas anyway and he'd open up close to maybe powers or lads.
Report hammy March 7, 2012 4:35 PM GMT
Neill D,are you having a laugh when you say he might get a job with a big firm over there.
Report dashero March 7, 2012 4:38 PM GMT
Laugh Hammy knows the scoreCool
Report neill d March 7, 2012 4:45 PM GMT
I don'y know, ex minister, ran his own company....... into the ground in the end, lot of experience, you're probably right hammy. I was taking the American view, liquidation as a badge of honourLaugh
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