04/03/2006 11:00PM

Magna land deal canceled


A Pennsylvania-based real-estate development company has withdrawn from an agreement to purchase 157 acres of south Florida land from Magna Entertainment Corp., Magna officials said on Tuesday.

The development company, Toll Bros., had reached the agreement to purchase the land, which is adjacent to Magna's $90 million horse-training facility, Palm Meadows, last November for $51 million in cash. The sale was scheduled to close on March 30, but Blake Tohana, Magna's chief financial officer, said that the real-estate company terminated the sale because of concerns raised by members of the Palm Meadows community about the residential development.

The concerns "were primarily related to the development plans, with the size of the development and the size of the residential lots," Tohana said.

Magna is in continuing negotiations with Toll Bros. on another agreement for the land, Tohana said. Toll Bros. officials did not return phone calls on Tuesday.

Magna is carrying long-term debt in excess of $300 million, and has lost $350 million over the past three years. Proceeds from the sale of the land were expected to be used to pay down a portion of the company's debt.