Monday, September 24, 2007

Magna exercises option

Magna Entertainment Corp. is exercising an option to buy out the minority owners of the Maryland Jockey Club for $18.3-million.

The transaction “was specifically contemplated in our recently announced debt elimination plan, and reflects our intent to focus the business on our core strategic racetracks,” Magna Entertainment chairman Frank Stronach stated Monday. The five-year option arrangement with Joseph De Francis and Karin De Francis was set to expire in November.

“MJC is a core asset of MEC, and while thoroughbred racing in Maryland is currently facing many difficult obstacles, we remain optimistic that with the assistance of other stakeholders horse racing in the state can have a bright future.”

Joseph De Francis, who has continued as CEO of the Maryland Jockey Club, and Karin De Francis, who has focused on the Preakness, “will be leaving MJC in the near future,” Monday's statement said, although Mr. De Francis remains a director of Magna Entertainment.

The changes are coming. De Francis out, slots coming in. It should be a fun ride!

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