MID shareholders approve race track transfer

Frank Stronach would take company private

March 29, 2011|By Hanah Cho, The Baltimore Sun

Shareholders of MI Developments, the majority owner of the Maryland Jockey Club, overwhelmingly approved Tuesday a deal that would transfer its racing assets to chairman and chief executive Frank Stronach.

Under the deal, Stronach would give up voting control of MID. In exchange, he will assume control of the Canadian real estate company's race tracks, which includes Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields in California, Florida's Gulfstream Park and a 51 percent stake in the Jockey Club, which operates Laurel Park and Baltimore's Pimlico Race Course.

Casino operator Penn National Gaming is the Jockey Club's minority owner though the company recently said it is considering selling its stake.

Separately, the Maryland House of Delegates approved Monday legislation that would allow the Jockey Club to use slots revenue for day-to-day operations, instead of track capital improvements.

The House-approved bill would extend the deal brokered late last year by Gov. Martin O'Malley that guaranteed live racing at Laurel Park and Pimlico in 2011 for two years, instead of three years under the original proposal. The bill also would cap the amount to $6 million annually, create an oversight commission and require a five-year business plan.

The Senate has yet to take action on a similar bill.

Hanah.cho@baltsun.com

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