Regulators OK Sale of The Meadows by Magna Entertainment

Magna Entertainment Corp. has received conditional approval from the Pennsylvania State Harness Racing Commission to sell The Meadows, a western Pennsylvania harness track, for $225 million.

The Meadows, located south of Pittsburgh, is in line for slot machines when it's granted a license from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. MEC last year struck a deal to sell the facility to PA Meadows, which is jointly owned by Millennium Gaming and Oaktree Capital Management.

Under terms of the stock purchase agreement between MEC and PA Meadows, MEC will continue to manage racing operations at The Meadows for at least five years pursuant to a racing services agreement.

"We are extremely pleased to have received conditional approval from the PSHRC, and look forward to continuing to work with the PSHRC to receive final approval," Blake Tohana, MEC executive vice president and chief financial officer, said in a statement. "We also look forward to continuing to work with Millennium-Oaktree to satisfy the remaining closing conditions and to complete the stock purchase transaction, which is expected to enable MEC to significantly reduce our outstanding debt and strengthen our balance sheet."

The Meadows offers year-round racing and operates several off-track betting parlors in western Pennsylvania. It also serves as headquarters for XpressBet, the account wagering service operated by MEC.

Sale of The Meadows is part of a strategy by MEC to raise funds to strengthen its balance sheet.