Acquisition powers bookmaker into Northern Ireland

Irish bookmaker Paddy Power Plc has expanded its business into Northern Ireland after buying a chain of betting shops in Belfast.

The group has added eight outlets to its portfolio through buying McGranaghan Racing for £19 million.

“McGranaghan’s has a similar business model to our own, employing a competitive offering to drive turnover and profitability,” Paddy Power chief executive Patrick Kennedy said. “Acquisition is the necessary route into this interesting market and McGranaghan’s is an ideal entry point for Paddy Power.”

Paddy Power was advised by Arthur Cox, led by partner Alan Taylor, who was supported by corporate associate Lynsey Mallon, with property and licensing advice provided by Rowan White and Joanna Robinson. Rosemary Lundy handled the employment issues.

The vendors were supported throughout the disposal by law firm O’Reilly Stewart and accountancy practice Baker Tilly Mooney Moore.

O’Reilly’s team was led by partner Linus Murray, who said this is a high-profile transaction. “The deal represents the biggest acquisition of a bookmaking chain after the purchase of Eastwoods by Ladbrokes earlier this year,” he added.

Baker Tilly Mooney Moore was led by partner Joanne Small, who said this was one of the largest transactions in Northern Ireland so far this year. “The deal represents a lifetime’s work for the shareholders and we were pleased to be able to offer the full suite of in-house services required by the shareholders.”

Paddy Power was established 20 years ago and is famed for hosting the world’s largest strip poker tournament, sponsoring a Father Ted Festival, and having a Tongan rugby player change his name to Paddy Power for the 2007 world cup.

Marc Barber

Marc Barber

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

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