08/18/2010 10:31AM

Keeneland offers buyouts to some employees

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Keeneland Association, the Lexington, Ky., racing and sales company, has offered buyouts to an unspecified number of its full-time employees, the president of the company, Nick Nicholson, confirmed on Wednesday.

Nicholson said the buyouts were issued as part of the company’s ongoing efforts to cut costs in the face of significant declines in the auction market and depressed handle. Compared to 2008, total auction receipts in the U.S. in 2009 plunged 34 percent, from $941 million to $617 million.

“We’re doing what every other company is doing right now, and that’s paying attention to our expenses,” Nicholson said. “It’s not the kind of thing that any company enjoys, but you’ve got to be responsible and face the future.”

Nicholson would not identify the people who were offered buyouts, but said that most of the offers were made to full-time employees in the association’s maintenance and security departments who were nearing retirement. He said he would not know how many positions would be affected until September, when the employees must make the decision whether to accept the buyouts.

Nicholson also said that Keeneland hasn’t been filling positions of employees who have left the company recently, and that the company has been “consolidating” some positions.