Massicotte Wants To Continue On In Quebec

Published: August 24, 2009 03:42 pm EDT

In a surprise development that has deflated Quebec horsemen, Attractions Hippiques owner Paul Massicotte is now negotiating to buy out the company's principal lenders and continue running the horseracing business

in the province through another company.

The lawyer representing Attractions Hippiques, Neil Stein, told a Montreal Superior Court hearing today that a tentative agreement has been reached with the lenders for an unspecified percentage of the $52-million they're owed, and should be finalized Friday.

"Our objective," Stein said, "is to stay in business."

Prominent racehorse owner Tony Infilise, heads of a group whose offer for most of the racing operations was rebuffed, wondered why they weren't given an opportunity by trustee RSM Richter Inc. to buy the debt.

He said it's now incumbent on the Quebec government to see that the needs of the entire industry are met.

"Our jockey-club proposal included a guarantee of a minimum 90-per-cent return of the pari-mutuel tax and any VLT revenues in the form of purses. The government should demand the same (from another buyer). If they can't, they should get out."

Stein said Massicotte invested $20 million in Attractions Hippiques, which has been in creditor protection since June of 2008, and he's prepared to inject more capital into the new entity.

Of the four racetracks that presented live racing when Attractions Hippiques took the reins of the racing industry from the provincial government in 2006, only Sulky Quebec in Quebec City still does.

Attractions Hippiques was seeking another 45-day extension of creditor protection, to October 8, but received only a four-day extension, to Friday, because no judge was available today to hear the arguments.

(A Trot Insider exclusive by Paul Delean)



Phew - this just goes on and on. Should Mr Massicotte run the racing business in Quebec, it will not be non profit, unlike WEG. Obviously he is making money in this business in Quebec on the backs of the horsemen, otherwise he wouldn't want to continue because lets face it, right now he is not very popular, putting it mildly, having caused a lot of grief and upheaval for us all.

Somehow it doesn't seem right that the decision for our industry is taking place in Court
by people who have no idea what's happening to the racing industry and to the horsemen involved in this debacle, and don't care. Why was the Jockey Club totally dismissed by Richter? - Why, because they are the Trustees for AH, so Mr Massicotte is bound to be the front runner. WE are just the little guys, we don't count anymore and we are hurting.