11/03/2004 12:00AM

Magna seeks partnership


Magna Entertainment is seeking partners for its redevelopment of Gulfstream Park in Florida and for a proposed slot-machine operation at its racetrack in Pennsylvania.

During a conference call with analysts on Wednesday, Jim McAlpine, Magna's chief executive, said Magna plans to proceed with its $100 million rebuilding of Gulfstream, but said that the company is seeking a partner to complete the project.

One of the partners that Magna is considering, McAlpine said, is MI Developments, a company that was spun off from Magna Entertainment's former parent, the auto-parts company Magna International.

McAlpine's comments came one day after Magna released financial statements showing a $50.3 million loss in the third quarter of 2004 on revenues of $102.3 million, running its 2004 loss so far to $54.7 million. Magna has struggled to turn a profit since it began acquiring racetracks in 1998, and, after negative cash flow of $39.2 million during the third quarter, now has $40 million in cash.

McAlpine also said that Magna is seeking a partner for its effort to get a slot-machine license for The Meadows, its harness track in western Pennsylvania. Under provisions of a bill that was passed earlier this year, any racetrack seeking a license for slots will need to pay a $50 million license fee up front, and McAlpine said that the machines will cost at least another $25 million, not counting renovations to the grandstand.

Magna is also exploring selling excess real estate at its tracks to raise cash, McAlpine said, including several "residential properties."