Golden Gate Fields Owner Nixes Annual Report

By Richard Brenneman
Wednesday April 01, 2009 - 09:23:00 PM

Depending on the outcome of bankruptcy actions in U.S. and Canadian courts, the would-be owners of Albany’s Golden Gate Fields say that once they acquire the property, they intend “to immediately commence seeking all required approvals to develop the property for commercial real estate uses.” 

That announcement is included in the March 27 statement of 2008 earnings issued by MI Developments (MID), the company that holds most of the loans to Magna Entertainment Corp. (MEC), the track’s bankrupt current owner. 

While an initial announcement had proposed an April 3 auction, that date has been pushed back, possibly to July. 

A court hearing in Delaware on that date is now scheduled to rule on whether or not the auction can be held. Creditors of the racing company have filed objections to an MID plan to buy the Albany tracks and several other MEC holdings through a process known as a “stalking horse” bid.  

Both companies are the creation of Canadian auto parts magnate Frank Stronach.  

Magna means “big” in Latin, but the adjective doesn’t apply to the value of Magna Entertainment—which has dropped to pennies a share on the over-the-counter market—nor to its annual financial report. 

In fact, North America’s largest owners of horse racing tracks announced that there won’t be any annual report at all for last year. 

Preparation would be too costly for a company currently engaged in bankruptcy action on both side of the U.S.-Canadian border. 

Magna, which owns Golden Gate Fields in Albany, made the announcement in a notice released Wednesday afternoon, March 26. 

Magna announced that “the expense and effort involved in complying with annual and quarterly reporting requirements cannot, in the opinion of the company, be justified in light of MEC’s current and operational financial situation.” 

Both the NASDAQ stock exchange in the United States and the Toronto Stock Exchange to the north have stricken the company’s shares from their listings. 

More information on the bankruptcies is available at the corporate website at www.magnaent.com/restructuring.