06/24/2003 12:00AM

Magna enters bedding business


Magna Entertainment Corp. will build a factory in Lumberton, N.C., to produce a new kind of horse bedding, the company announced on Monday.

The factory will produce 5,000 tons of the bedding, called Streufex, in its first year for distribution to tracks along the East Coast and in the Midwest, said Sue Floyd, a spokeswoman for the company.

The bedding was described by the company as being a mixture of "shredded grain straw and trace amounts of natural oils."

Magna is the largest owner of racetracks in North America. The bedding factory, which is expected to be completed by December, represents the company's first foray into a supply business that is aligned with the racing industry.

Floyd said that Streufex has not been sold or developed yet in the United States. The product was first developed by Johann Payerl, an Austrian businessman who sold the North American production rights to Magna and is assisting on the current project, Floyd said.

Frank Stronach, the chairman of Magna Entertainment and the founder of Magna International, a leading auto-parts company, is Austrian. Magna Entertainment is currently involved in a project to build a racetrack in Austria, and its balance sheet contains several Austrian properties.