12/23/2009 12:00AM

Churchill credit limit increased

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Churchill Downs Inc. has reached an agreement with its bank that will allow the company to borrow up to $275 million, a sharp increase from its existing credit limit which may indicate that Churchill is looking to acquire other properties.

Churchill's previous agreement with its bank allowed the company to borrow $120 million. According to its latest financial documents, Churchill currently has no long-term debt, but the company will need approximately $43 million in cash to finance a pending acquisition of the account-wagering company Youbet.com, and another $27.5 million to finance the purchase of land near Arlington Park in Chicago under a deal reached earlier this month.

Churchill owns Churchill Downs in Louisville, Arlington near Chicago, Calder Race Course in Miami, and Fair Grounds Races and Slots in New Orleans, as well as the account-wagering company twinspires.com. It also owns half of the horserace broadcasting company HRTV. It is slated to open an $80 million casino at Calder in January.

Churchill is expanding its credit line at the same time that Magna Entertainment Corp. is preparing to take bids on some of its most high-profile racing properties as part of its bankruptcy organization. In February, Magna plans to take offers on Santa Anita Park in Southern California, Gulfstream Park in south Florida, and Golden Gate Fields in Northern California. Magna's account-wagering company, XpressBet, will also be offered for sale.