Company Delays Sale of Golden Gate Fields

By Richard Brenneman
Saturday April 04, 2009 - 10:15:00 AM

With creditors clamoring in the wings and unhappy with plans to sell off Golden Gate Fields and other key assets of troubled Magna Entertainment, the company agreed Friday, April 3, to delay a key court hearing until April 20. 

Creditors have challenged Magna’s plans to sell the assets to a sister company through a so-called “stalking horse bid.” Magna Entertainment is North America’s largest owner of horse race venues, and has been plagued by massive debts. 

According to court filings, the company has debts of $959 million with assets worth about $1 billion in an uncertain real estate market. 

Bloomberg.com, the leading financial news service, reported that Magna agreed Friday afternoon to hire a restructuring officer and add new members to its board of directors during a hearing in federal bankruptcy court in Delaware. 

The company, which was stricken from the rolls of both the NASDAQ and Toronto stock exchanges, is in bankruptcy actions on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border. 

The company had proposed to sell some of its key assets to sister company MI Developments, which had raised the ire of major investors. 

Both companies are controlled by Canadian auto parts magnate Frank Stronach.