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Anderson racino emerges from bankruptcy

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The parent company of Anderson racetrack and casino Hoosier Park has officially emerged from bankruptcy.

A newly structured company, Indianapolis-based Centaur Holdings LLC, has taken over ownership from parent Centaur Inc.

The court approved Centaur’s original reorganization plan in February, but several steps had to take place before the plan went into effect, said John Keeler, Centaur’s general counsel.

Chief among them was approval of transferring the gambling license and racing permit from the old to the new Hoosier Park. The Indiana Gaming Commission approved that move last month and the Indiana Horseracing Commission approved it late last week, making it effective on Oct. 1.

The original shareholders of Centaur Inc., about 80 individual Indiana investors, lost their entire investment in the company. Under the new structure, Centaur’s four principals — CEO Rod Ratcliff, Chief Financial Officer Kurt Wilson, Chief Operating Officer Jim Brown and Keeler — are the company’s main equity holders.

The company’s five directors will include Ratcliffe, Brown and three representatives for the major debt-holders in the new company, all of whom will own one share each in the new firm.

The first-lien creditors in the old Centaur will take on holdings of the three tiers of debt in the new Centaur, proportionate to their debt holdings in the original company. That debt totals $273 million, about a third of the $906 million debt load when Centaur filed for bankruptcy in March 2010.

Clairvest, a Canadian-based private equity management firm, and other funds managed by the company, as well as investment banking firm Goldman Sachs, hold a majority of debt in the new Centaur.

Centaur has sold off gambling properties in Colorado and Pennsylvania as part of the bankruptcy settlement. Its holdings now include the Anderson racetrack and casino and three off-track betting sites in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne and Merrillville.

Keeler said the public likely will not notice a change under new ownership.

“During bankruptcy, Hoosier Park has continued to put out the same quality product — they haven’t laid off any employees,” Keeler said. “At the end of this bankruptcy process, Centaur is still an Indianapolis-based company — with Indianapolis-based and experienced management.”

Hoosier Park, like its racino counterpart Indiana Live in Shelbyville, has struggled under massive debt loads since borrowing heavily to pay $250 million in state licensing fees to add slot machines and other electronic games in 2008. That expense has been labeled as a key contributing factor in Centaur’s bankruptcy.

Indiana Live filed for bankruptcy in April and remains in bankruptcy proceedings.

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  1. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

  2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

  3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

  4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

  5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.

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