MEC Includes Santa Anita in New Auction Plan

MEC Includes Santa Anita in New Auction Plan
Photo: Benoit

Magna Entertainment Corp. submitted a new court plan May 1 to auction off some of its racetracks, including Santa Anita Park, as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.

If approved, MEC and its advisers would market for auction Santa Anita, Portland Meadows, Remington Park, and Thistledown, as well as its interest in Lone Star Park, according to an amended motion filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. A hearing on the motion is scheduled for May 4.

Also part of the proposed auction package is MEC’s joint-venture commercial development project, The Shops at Santa Anita; its Fex Straw Manufacturing and StreuFex horse-bedding operations; and undeveloped land holdings in Ocala, Fla., and Dixon, Calif.

In its motion, MEC said will also “continue to explore all alternatives with respect to the remaining assets,” which includes racetracks Golden Gate Fields, Gulfstream Park, Laurel Park, and Pimlico Race Course, among other holdings.

The motion said MEC’s marketing advisers have executed about 35 confidentiality agreements with parties, “many of whom have expressed a strong interest in one or more of the assets.” If approved, parties would have until May 27 to express interest in assets,and file a definitive bid by July 3. An auction and subsequent court hearing for approval would be set for Sept. 8.

The revised plan was submitted in reaction to several earlier objections by creditors that included complaints about the involvement of founding company chairman Frank Stronach in the process. MEC’s controlling shareholder, MI Developments, which Stronach also chairs, in April dropped a $195-million “stalking horse” bid for assets that included Golden Gate and Gulfstream, among others.

Stronach was also replaced by reorganization specialist Gregory Rayburn as MEC's chief executive officer, and will recuse himself from certain bankruptcy-related business, including sale transactions, the motion said.
 

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