Belfast Telegraph

BoyleSports acquires William Hill stores in Northern Ireland

Conor Gray, chief executive of BoyleSports
Conor Gray, chief executive of BoyleSports

By Samantha McCaughren

Independent booking making chain, BoyleSports, has acquired William Hill’s chain of 33 shops in Northern Ireland and two shops in the Isle of Man for an undisclosed sum.

BoyleSports, which was founded in Markethill, Co Armagh by John Boyle, has been on the acquisition trail for some time but this is it largest acquisition to date.

It bring its total number of shops in Northern Ireland to 39 and the number of shops on the island of Ireland to 298.

Across the Ireland and the UK the chain now has 317 shops.

This William Hill deal in Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man is a significant step in BoyleSports ambition to grow its UK retail network to 100 shops by the end of 2020, according to the company.

Conor Gray, chief executive of BoyleSports, used news of the acquisition to criticise the Irish Government’s decision in Budget 2019 in increase betting tax.

In November, it acquired Bruce Betting which has 18 outlets across the Republic including Rush, Co Dublin, Bray, Co Wicklow, Maynooth, Co Kildare, and Mullingar, Co Westmeath. Bruce has previously warned about the implications of the increased betting tax. Mr Gray said that "the increase in betting duty has meant that the focus of future expansion and investment will be outside the Republic of Ireland".

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“This acquisition complements our existing retail network in NI and our retail network in the Republic of Ireland while also representing a significant step in our long-stated ambition to develop our retail footprint across the UK.”

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