Belfast Telegraph

BoyleSports snaps up four new stores in Republic as firm expands its empire

By Michael Cogley

Irish bookmaker BoyleSports - led by Co Armagh man John Boyle - has bought four new outlets in the Republic. BoyleSports has bought the ex-Hacketts shops from liquidators Ken Tyrell and Declan McDonald of PwC.

The four stores will be rebranded as BoyleSports and will be included in the company's €4m (£3.4m) three-year renovation programme across its portfolio.

The outlets are in Cashel in Tipperary, Callen in Kilkenny, Mountmellick in Laois and Rathkeale in Limerick. All four will be reopened immediately.

The deal brings BoyleSports' total number of outlets on the island of Ireland to 212.

There are five in Northern Ireland, including two in Newry and one each in Camlough and Crossmaglen - as well as the original BoyleSports shop in Markethill.

John Boyle started the business in his home village in 1982, and opened his first shop in the Republic in 1989

BoyleSports head of retail Jenna Boyle said the company was "saddened" by the liquidation of Hacketts. "At a retail level the Irish bookmaking sector is the most competitive in the world.

"We would like to welcome our new customers of these four stores to the BoyleSports estate.

"As well as having the widest range of betting opportunities and the most comfortable surroundings of any betting chain, our new customers can look forward to getting the most competitive prices available in the market."

Hacketts went into liquidation last month after 50 years in business.

The firm found it difficult to keep pace with its larger competitors as many punters quickly moved towards online betting.

All of the bookmakers' outlets had been closed as PwC was appointed as liquidators.

The firm employed 35 people and had an annual turnover of around €30m (£25m).

BoyleSports has also said it hopes to acquire stores in Great Britain if a proposed merger between Ladbrokes and Gala Coral goes through.

In May this year, the company added: "The possible availability of between 350 and 400 shops offers a clear opportunity for BoyleSports to realise its long-term ambition to develop a significant retail presence in the UK."

John Boyle started the business in his home village in 1982, and opened his first shop in the Republic in 1989.

Belfast Telegraph