Stronach Replaces Mills as MID CEO

Stronach Replaces Mills as MID CEO
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
Frank Stronach

Prominent Thoroughbred breeder-owner Frank Stronach has taken over as chief executive officer of MI Developments, the racetrack operating company of which he is already chairman.

According to a Nov. 11 announcement of MID’s third-quarter earnings, Stronach has replaced Dennis Mills, who will continue as the company’s vice chairman as a director.

MID is the real estate company chaired by Stronach that at the end of April assumed the racing assets previously held by bankrupt track operator Magna Entertainment Corp. MID, the parent of MEC, assumed operations of Gulfstream Park, Santa Anita Park, Golden Gate Fields, and Portland Meadows, plus a half interest in the Maryland Jockey Club that consists of Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park.

MID also owns the XpressBet.com account wagering system, AmTote, and a half interest in HRTV.

In addition to Stronach replacing Mills, MID announced it would separate its real estate and racing and gaming operations into separate divisions. The company announced that Lyle Strachan has been named executive vice president-finance for the racing and gaming division, and that Mike Rogers will be vice president of operations for that division.

For the third quarter ending Sept. 30, MID reported net income of $8.1 million, compared with $35 million during the same period one year ago. Net income of $31.3 million from the real estate operations more than offset a $23.2 million loss from the racing operations.

The company attributed the net loss in racing and gaming business to the “seasonal nature of our racing and gaming business, lower average daily revenue at many of our racetracks, a decrease in account wagering revenues due to certain credit card companies choosing to block Internet gambling-related transactions at XpressBet, and costs incurred to pursue alternative gaming opportunities.”

A bid by an entity controlled by Stronach’s family to purchase all of the shares of MID at $13 per share has been countered by an offer from technology entrepreneur and horse owner Halsey Minor. The total value of the offer from the Stronach-controlled ST Acquisitions is about $607 million.

Minor has made a bid of $300 million to $320 million for all of the racing-related assets of MID. Minor’s offer includes $150 million to $170 million for Santa Anita, Portland Meadows, Golden Gate, the MJC, AmTote, XpressBet.com, and HRTV. He also offered $150 million for the Florida MID holdings that include Gulfstream Park, Palm Meadows Training Center, and all other Florida-based racing assets.

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