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Friday, November 07, 2008

What's In A Name

- Magna has hired a company called Miller Buckfire & Co., and just from its name, you might figure that they're not there to brighten up the daisy beds at Gulfstream Park, nor to provide roving minstrels at Laurel. Sounds straight out of a Coen Brothers movie, actually. A gravel-faced John Goodman might play the president of this outfit, which, according to its website, provides "strategic advice to companies in need of creative solutions to complex problems." I'll say. A look at this page tells you just what kind of complexities they deal with. We could be seeing Frank's smiling face, energy drink in hand, smack dab in the middle of that one real soon.

With the company's efforts to sell its non-core assets "negatively affected by the weak real estate and credit markets," Magna will likely be taking a more aggressive tack.

"As a result, we are evaluating MEC's core operations with a view to possibly selling or joint venturing one or more of MEC's core racetracks in order to strengthen MEC's balance sheet and liquidity position." [Bloodhorse]
[UPDATE: Much more on Magna, with all of the grim numerical stuff that I didn't feel like writing about on Steve Zorn's blog here.)

[UPDATE: Reader RG asks: Does Canada have a bailout program?]


Anonymous said...

What I would truly like to see is a horseman's group that claims that "they own the product" to buy Thistledown or one of the other tracks from Magna and then they could truly make that claim.
A few years ago a proposal by one of it's shareholders for Magna to sell everything and disappear was voted down. Now with greatly diminished assets and many more millions in depth and facing lawsuits from MI Dev. shareholders for their loans to Magna Ent. they have come to the end of the road unless....does Canada have a bailout program?

Anonymous said...

no one in their right mind would buy an ohio race track right now, as its incircled by slot states

Steve Zorn said...

Miller Buckfire is a spinoff from something once named Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, which itself was a merger of ... well, you get the idea.

I don't see any reason for anyone to buy Magna properties right now. Stronach has turned away decent offers from Halsey Minor and others, so why even deal with him. Why not just wait for the bankruptcy court to take over and find out what the (much depressed) market thinks each track is worth?

Re horsemen purchasing and running a track: you bet, if it could be done. I've always wanted to see an anarcho-syndicalist collective in action.

Anonymous said...

I only get a $1,000 a shot -- I guess I am Big Mauve.