06/10/2017 11:56AM

Churchill Downs Inc. buys back 1 million shares from Duchossois Group


For the second time in less than two years, Churchill Downs Inc. has privately purchased an enormous block of shares from its largest shareholder, the Duchossois Group, this time in a transaction valued at $158.1 million.

The purchase was authorized by Churchill’s board of directors under an existing plan allowing the company to buy back as much as $250 million of its stock using cash and borrowings under the company’s credit line. That repurchase plan was approved by the board in April.

The buyback this time was 1 million shares of stock at $158.78 per share. The Duchossois Group, which is controlled by the family of the Illinois industrialist and former Arlington Park owner, Dick Duchossois, will still own another 1 million shares after the transaction is complete, according to Churchill’s financial records.

In November 2015, Churchill’s board authorized the private purchase of 945,000 shares held by the Duchossois Group for an aggregate purchase price of $138.1 million. In total, the family has sold $296.2 million worth of stock to Churchill in the two transactions. Arlington was merged with Churchill in 2000.

“The Duchossois family continues to be very committed to Churchill Downs and will still own over 1 million shares following the completion of this transaction,” said Craig Duchossois, the son of Dick Duchossois and the chairman of the family company, referencing blocks of stock held individually by both Craig and Dick Duchossois. “This transaction is part of our family’s plan to diversify our holdings.”

Both Craig and Dick Duchossois are members of the Churchill board.

As of March 31, the end of the first quarter, Churchill had $79.9 million in cash and $953 million in long-term debt, according to the company’s financial statements. The company did not disclose the mix of cash and debt used to buy back the shares.