Updated on 09/16/2011 6:57AM

Magna to buy Lone Star Park


Magna Entertainment Corp., has entered into an agreement to purchase Lone Star Park near Dallas for approximately $100 million, the track announced Wednesday night. The sale is subject to regulatory approvals and conditions, and is expected to be closed in the second quarter of 2002.

MEC currently operates 10 racetracks, including Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., Gulfstream Park in Hallendale, Fla., and Remington Park in Oklahoma City, which is located three hours north of Lone Star.

Lone Star, which opens for its fifth season of Thoroughbred racing on April 4, is the premier racing plant in Texas. Constructed at a cost of $100 million, the track opened for its inaugural season of racing on April 17, 1997, and last year was named a conditional host for the 2005 Breeders' Cup.

"The acquisition of Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie represents another step in MEC's program of expanding its racing and wagering operations through the ownership of the country's premier racetrack properties," said Frank Stronach, Chairman of MEC, and an owner and breeder who won the Grade 3, $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap in 2000 with Luftikus.

Bob Kaminski, chairman of Lone Star, said the track's leadership would stay in place despite the pending sale. "There will be no change in current management," he said. "For the people that regularly interface with Lone Star Park, they should see no difference. They are going to see the same people and management style that has been our hallmark the past five years."

Kaminski, however, will step down as chairman after the sale closes, but will serve as an advisor to MEC.

Lone Star conducts a Thoroughbred meet from April to July, and a Quarter Horse meet from October to November, dates that complement MEC's national racing calendar. "The ownership of Lone Star Park will allow MEC to provide additional quality racing for its simulcast, television and account wagering operations," said Jim McAlpine, president and CEO of Magna.

According to the sale agreement, MEC will acquire the racing assets of Lone Star Race Park, Ltd., the partnership group who developed and operates Lone Star. The partnership would retain certain non-racing assets. The purchase price is $80 million cash, and the assumption of certain liabilities, including a capital lease obligation of approximately $19 million.

The City of Grand Prairie and Grand Prairie Sports Facilities Development Corp., a seven-member board which oversees the use of the city tax proceeds that financed up to $65 million of the construction of the track, is the landlord of Lone Star. In turn, they lease the racetrack to Lone Star Race Park, Ltd., which operates the facility.