Photo: New Turfway Park
Churchill Downs Incorporated announced on Thursday that through its wholly owned subsidiary NKYRG, LLC, they have signed a definitive agreement to purchase Turfway Park in Florence, Ky., From Jack Ohio LLC, affiliated with JACK Entertainment LLC and Hard Rock International, for a total valuation of $ 46 million in cash, subject to certain adjustments to working capital and other purchase amounts.
The closing of the transaction is subject to approval by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. The KHRC has scheduled a meeting on Tuesday, and if the change of control is approved, the parties expect to close the transaction soon after.
Subject to KHRC approval, Winter Thorebbred racing meets the winter of 2019-2020 at Turfway Park will be conducted on racing dates previously awarded to Turfway Park for December 2019 and in accordance with the schedule of racing dates submitted by JACK to the KHRC for 2020. After receiving approval for change of control, CDI will not continue the previously announced New Latonia Racing & Gaming project in Northern Kentucky and will withdraw its new Latonia expiration date application with KHRC.
Immediately after closing, CDI will begin planning for the demolition of existing stands after the 2019-2020 meeting, making way for the development of the Turfway Park Racing & Gaming (“New Turfway Park” ), worth up to $ 150 million (including Thursday's announced purchase price), state-of-the-art art and historic thoroughbred racing facilities.
"We are pleased to welcome Turfway Park to Churchill Down's racing family," said Kevin Flanery, president of Churchill Downs Race Track. “Our team is ready to restore Turfway to its former glory, anchored by Northern Kentucky's first historic racing machine facility. The result is a premium racing product driven by increased bags that keep high quality horses in Kentucky year-round and appeal to horse players across the country. ”
New Turfway Park is believed to support up to 400 full-time and part-time direct jobs and create an estimated 800 direct construction jobs. The project will include a historic racing machine facility with up to 1,500 machines, a state-of-the-art clubhouse, food / beverage outlets and a new inner leather track to complement the existing one-kilometer synthetic lane.
The transaction is structured as an acquisition of all outstanding equity in Turfway Park, LLC and the acquisition cost of $ 46 million will be financed with cash from CDI's balance sheet. Of this amount, $ 36 million (subject to certain working capital and other adjustments) will be paid to JACK and capitalized in CDI's balance sheet. The remaining $ 10 million will be paid to Hard Rock and expensed.