Churchill Downs Places $160M Bet on Oxford Casino

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Published March 29, 2013

| FOXBusiness

Churchill Downs (CHDN) said on Friday it agreed to buy Oxford Casino in Maine for about $160 million in cash, as the company continues to pursue newer properties in gambling-friendly states.

The deal, which is pending the acquisition of a gaming license from the Maine Gaming Control Board, is expected to immediately add to Churchill Downs’ per-share earnings and provide annual cash flow of roughly $12.5 million.

Oxford Casino is owned by Black Bear Realty and opened in June, completing an expansion of its gaming floor in early October.

Churchill Downs said the transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

“The acquisition of Oxford continues our focus on investing capital in gaming-friendly states, in newer properties, in what we believe are competitively defensible markets, and at valuations that we believe will result in significant future free cash flow generation at rates of return attractive to our shareholders,” Churchill Downs Chairman and CEO Robert Evans said in a statement, adding that Oxford has more than 400 employees.

The horse racer runs the Kentucky Derby and other thoroughbred races. Churchill Downs owns its namesake racetrack and others in Kentucky, California and Florida.

Shares of Churchill Downs closed Thursday at $70.04 and are up 5.4% so far this year.

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