09/18/2012 4:18PM

Hoosier Park owner said to have won bidding for Indiana Downs


The parent company of Hoosier Park has submitted the winning bid for bankrupt Indiana Downs and its casino in Shelbyville, Ind., the legal counsel for the company said Tuesday.

John Keeler, general counsel for New Centaur Inc., confirmed Tuesday that the company placed the bid Friday in an auction overseen by U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Keeler declined to provide details about the company’s bid, but said he was under the impression that New Centaur had submitted the only bid that met the auction’s qualifications. The minimum bid for the track and casino was $500 million, and bidders had to provide proof of financing.

“We were determined to be the winning bidder,” Keeler said.

The bid will need to be approved by the bankruptcy court.

Keeler said that New Centaur does not plan to make any major changes to the operations at the racetrack or casino if the bid is approved.

The parent of Indiana Downs and its casino, Indiana Grand, filed for bankruptcy in April 2011. The company said that it had been dragged down by unfavorable tax rates and a $250 million casino licensing fee.

Hoosier’s parent also filed for bankruptcy several years ago, citing debts of $900 million, but the company emerged from its reorganization late last year with a massive debt reduction.

Keeler said he would not comment on where New Centaur was able to obtain financing for the deal.

“I’m not at liberty to go into all the details other than to say that we were able to get financing that qualified,” Keeler said.