LOUISVILLE, Ky. (NEWS CENTER) -- Churchill Downs, Inc. says it has entered into an agreement to purchase the Oxford Casino for $160 million.
The deal is dependent on Churchill Downs, Inc. (CDI) securing a licencse from the Maine Gambling Control Board.
The $160 million will be paid in cash. The sale is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2013.
"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," said CDI Chairman and CEO Robert Evans .
"The Oxford team of over 400 employees has done an exceptional job and we look forward to welcoming them into the Churchill Downs family," said Evans.
Oxford Casino opened in June 2012 and was expanded in October. It is owned by Black Bear Realty, Co.
Bob Bahre, a founder of Black Bear Realty Co. said, "although we developed the property, operating casinos is not our core business, and we thought that the time was right to look for a major gaming company that could take this property to the next level. "
The news of the sale had the Oxford Hills region buzzing Friday afternoon about economic prospects.
"I'm looking to see that the area does grow. I'm hoping that with Route 26, more businesses grow and more show up," Chairman of the Board with the Oxford Hills Chamber of Commerce Michael Godin said.
Oxford Town Manager Michael Chammings said Friday afternoon 46% of the casino's profits each month automatically go to the town, and that won't change under the new ownership.
Churchill Downs, Inc. owns and operates Churchill Downs Racetrack, which is home of the Kentucky Derby. CDI also owns gaming and racing facilities and companies across the country.