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Magna Entertainment Corp. to sell race tracks


CNNMoney.com,  Wednesday, September 5, 2007 at 8:18:08 PM

Magna Entertainment Corp. today announced that, consistent with its previously announced strategic review of assets and operations, it plans to sell two of its racetrack operations: Thistledown, a thoroughbred racetrack located near Cleveland, Ohio, and its interest in Portland Meadows, a thoroughbred racetrack located in Portland, Oregon.

Frank Stronach, MEC's Chairman and Interim Chief Executive Officer, remarked, "Although MEC remains strongly committed to the racing industry, the fact remains that Thistledown and Portland Meadows are confronted with very difficult operational and regulatory challenges. Furthermore, MEC is very much committed to continuing to sell assets and to strengthening its balance sheet. This has led to MEC's decision to immediately pursue the sale of these unprofitable racetracks."

MEC acquired Thistledown in November 1999. Since acquiring Thistledown, MEC has pursued alternative gaming initiatives for the racetrack but has been unsuccessful to date. The most recent initiative was defeated in a state referendum on November 7, 2006. For the year ended December 31, 2006, Thistledown incurred a pre-tax loss of $4.5 million, which included $3.1 million of costs related to the state referendum.


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