Magna Makes Pitch for Tracks in Quebec
Updated: Tuesday, March 16, 2004 10:31 AM
Posted: Tuesday, March 16, 2004 10:07 AM
Magna Entertainment Corp. announced Tuesday that it has made a non-binding proposal to the government of the Canadian Province of Quebec to invest in Quebec's four Standardbred racetracks, as well as a training center located in St. Basile le Grand. The racetracks are located in Montreal, Quebec City, Trois Rivieres and Aylmer.
"MEC believes that the Quebec racetracks represent an exceptional opportunity to rejuvenate the horse racing industry in Quebec," said In MEC president and CEO Jim McAlpine. "The racing industry has a long and storied history in Quebec; we are excited about the potential to work in partnership with local communities and breeders' and horsemen's organizations to reinvigorate an industry that is directly responsible for the employment of over 3,000 Quebec residents. We believe that, with our experience and network of racetracks across North America, MEC is uniquely qualified to revive and grow the Quebec horse racing industry."
According to the announcement, Magna has not received a specific timeline or procedure for the Quebec government's response to MEC's proposal. MEC's proposal is contingent upon, among other matters, the satisfactory negotiation of various conditions and agreements with the government of Quebec and others, and the approval of MEC's board of directors, the release said.
Meanwhile, MI Developments Inc. announced Monday that Werner Czernohorsky had resigned as president, as a member of its board of directors and as deputy chairman of the board.
"On behalf of the board of directors and employees at MID, I would like to express our appreciation for the substantial contribution which Werner has made heading up MID's construction group since 1998", said MID chairman Frank Stronach. "I'm convinced that MID has an experienced management team at all levels that will continue to deliver strong performance in the future. We wish Werner the best in pursuing new challenges."
Czernohorsky's resignation comes one week after MI Developments, a publicly traded real-estate company that owns 59% of the equity in Magna Entertainment Corp., reported big losses during the fourth quarter of 2003. The losses were largely as a result of MEC's poor financial performance.
MID reported losses of $50.4 million, or $1.05 a share, for the final three months of the year. While MID's real estate business returned a positive $10.3 million, the company's interest in MEC resulted in $60.7 million in losses.
Last month, MEC reported 2003 year-end losses that totaled $105 million, largely due to an $81 million write-down on many of its properties during the fourth quarter
For the year, MID lost $32.3 million. Annual revenue was up from $129.4 in 2002 to $165.9 million last year.
MID owns 96% of the voting power in MEC. The company was spun-off from Stronach's auto-parts company Magna International in August 2002.
FREE! E-Newsletters from The Blood-Horse!...
Follow the top stories of major racing events, racing previews and results with FREE e-newsletters from bloodhorse.com. As news develops, we'll deliver updates to your inbox. Follow important events moment by moment, step by step!