By   –  Managing Editor, Albuquerque Business First

Laguna Development Corp. sells Kentucky gaming facility

Laguna Development Corp. has agreed to sell a Kentucky-based subsidiary to Churchill Downs Inc. (NASDAQ: CHDN) for $79 million in cash.

The deal to sell Ellis Park Racing and Gaming, announced Sept. 15 in a news release, is subject to certain capital and price adjustments.

Churchill Downs Inc. as part of the deal will also assume Ellis Park Racing and Gaming’s option to construct a track extension facility in Owensboro, Kentucky.

The sale is subject to approval by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, according to the news release.

TFA Securities Inc. provided financial advisory services to Laguna Development Corp., while Stites & Harbison acted as the legal advisor.

“This transaction is an opportunity to generate a significant profit for Laguna Development Corporation and the Pueblo of Laguna,” said Maxine Velasquez, president and CEO of Laguna Development Corp. “The cash generated by the sale provides much-needed capital to improve and expand LDC businesses in New Mexico, benefit our shareholders and advance future business development efforts.”

Laguna Development Corp. formed Ellis Entertainment in June of 2019 and purchased Ellis Park for $11 million. Since the purchase, Ellis Entertainment made improvements to the facility and gaming operations.

The corporation currently manages and operates Route 66 Casino Hotel, Route 66 Travel Centers on Interstate 40, 66 Pit Stop Gas Station & Convenience Stores on Interstate 40 and four Laguna Burger locations, among others businesses.

View full Albuquerque Business First article here.