Joe De Francis

Joe De Francis

Magna, De Francis Family Reach Settlement

Settlement clears way for March 25 auction of Maryland tracks.

The former owners of Laurel Park and Pimlico have reached a settlement with Magna Entertainment over the DeFrancis family’s rights to future slots profits at the Maryland tracks.

The agreement apparently clears the way for an auction of the tracks on Thursday, March 25.

According to the Baltimore Sun, Joseph De Francis and his sister Karin could receive $8 million from Magna and $4 million from the Maryland Jockey Club, under whose names the tracks are operated. The DeFrancis siblings would also receive 15% to 25% of the proceeds of the sale of the tracks if the total is more than $39 million. If the tracks, being sold as part of MEC’s bankruptcy, are purchased by MI Developments, MEC’s parent company, outside of the auction process or if the total auction price is less than $39 million, the DeFrancis family could receive $1 million, according to the newspaper.

MEC had entered into a deal with Joseph and Karin De Francis over future slots revenues when the siblings sold MJC to the Frank Stronach-controlled Magna in 2002. According to the Sun, a bankruptcy judge had ruled in January that MEC could end the profit-sharing agreement.