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Deadline Set in Offer for Los Alamitos

June 09, 1989|JAY HOVDEY | Special to The Times

A group trying to buy Los Alamitos Race Course and its surrounding property from Hollywood Park said Thursday it will set a deadline on its latest offer, which it increased last week from the original $60 million.

"We were told they would respond quickly and they have not responded," said Gary Hamilton, president of SDC Development of Newport Beach, whose company made the offer along with R. D. Hubbard and Dr. Edward Allred.

Hamilton declined to disclose the amount of the new offer, saying only that "it is the most sincere offer they have, and the one they could consummate and close the quickest."

Hamilton added that he knew of at least two other offers being considered by Hollywood Park for the 303-acre Los Alamitos site, which includes grandstand, race track, stable area, parking lot and 103 acres designated "open space" zoning.

Don Robbins, Hollywood Park's executive vice president and general manager, said: "They can attach whatever deadline they want to their offer, and that's their prerogative. Fortunately, we have a number of offers that are substantially higher that we are considering."

In another matter, Delaware Chancery Court will rule Tuesday on Thomas W. Gamel's demand for a list of Hollywood Park stockholders.

Gamel, the Denver businessman who owns 5.6% of Hollywood Park's stock, renewed his demands earlier this week that Marje Everett step down as chief executive officer and that the company undergo significant restructuring.

Gamel has charged that because of mismanagement, Hollywood Park's attendance and handle have declined significantly since 1985. The track's operating company, along with its sister realty company, has had a debt of more than $100 million, largely because of its inability to sell the Los Alamitos property.

"There is activity now in finally getting Los Alamitos sold," Gamel said Thursday. "I'm very pleased about that. But the fact remains that Mrs. Everett has proven she can't run a race track. If she resigned tomorrow, it would make a big difference in my attitude."

Although his attempt to get a stockholder list would indicate a possible proxy fight for control of Hollywood Park, Gamel said he also is approaching other parties with the idea of making an outright bid to buy the track.

Gamel has proposed that Hollywood Park cease live racing at the Inglewood plant and concentrate on using the facility as a simulcast betting outlet and a training center, while developing unused acreage.

In a letter to stockholders May 25, Everett disputed Gamel's proposals. She said that total handle at the current meeting has increased more than 5% and added: "We are diligently attempting to sell the Cypress property (Los Alamitos)."

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