MEC Buys Am Tote

Magna Entertainment Corp. completed a $17.4 million acquisition of AmTote International on Thursday, adding a major provider of totalizator services to its portfolio of horse racing entities.

AmTote, which provides services to more than 70 North American racetracks and other wagering operations, was acquired in the name of the MEC subsidiary MEC Maryland Investments Inc. The $13.6 million deal announced Thursday brought into the fold the final 70% interest in AmTote, adding to MEC Maryland's initial $3.8 million purchase of 30% three years ago.

"Acquiring the remaining interest in AmTote represents a unique opportunity," said MEC chairman and interim chief executive officer Frank Stronach in a news release. "We feel that significant synergies will be available due to the combination of MEC's racetrack operational expertise with AmTote's specialized knowledge of totalizator activities, a key component of the horseracing industry. This will benefit both the horseracing industry and consumers."

Former MEC chief information officer Steve Keech was appointed president of AmTote in July.

MEC acquires, develops and operates horse racetracks and related casino and pari-mutuel wagering operations, including off-track betting facilities. The company also owns and operates XpressBet, a national Internet and telephone account wagering systems, and Horse Racing TV, a 24-hour horse racing television network.