Churchill Downs Buys Calder Course
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) _ Churchill Downs announced today it signed an agreement to purchase Calder Race Course in Miami, saying the deal will bolster its live racing and simulcast wagering network.
Terms of the agreement include $86 million in cash subject to certain adjustments at closing, the Louisville racetrack said in a statement.
``The acquisition of Calder represents an attractive investment opportunity for Churchill Downs,″ said Tom Meeker, president and chief executive officer of the Louisville track.
Calder, one of four thoroughbred tracks in Florida, is adjacent to Pro Player Stadium, home to the Miami Dolphins and Florida Marlins. The track offers live racing and simulcast-only days during two consecutive race meets, which run from late May through early January.
The purchase was unanimously approved by Churchill Downs’ board of directors. The deal is subject to approval by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
Churchill Downs said it plans to finance the acquisition by using its $100 million line of credit. The transaction is expected to be finalized during the first quarter of this year, the track said.
``Calder is a well-managed operation, and its racing season favorably complements that of Churchill Downs and our other existing racing operations,″ Meeker said.
Meeker said the purchase represented another step in the Louisville track’s goal of developing a ``comprehensive simulcasting wagering network.″
``Our progress to date in building this simulcast network has been aided significantly by the steps we have taken to gain control over more live racing operations,″ he said. ``We are also confident about the long-term potential to benefit from this transaction by enhancing the live racing product offered by Calder.″