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Magna to Spin Off Part of Tourism Unit

May 26, 1999

Magna International Inc., Canada's biggest auto-parts maker, said it will spin off 20% of its tourism unit, which includes the Santa Anita racetrack in Arcadia. The move was designed to placate investors who consider horse tracks and real estate a distraction from its main business.

Magna's board approved the spinoff as a taxable distribution to take place Sept. 15 for shareholders of record on Aug. 31. The unit, called Ventures, will become a separately traded stock on Nasdaq and the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Analysts say Magna's stock price has lagged because of investor concern about Chairman Frank Stronach's eclectic side businesses. Stronach told shareholders at Tuesday's annual meeting that Ventures will buy horse tracks around the U.S. and feature them in a global marketing campaign to attract off-track betting.

Since creation of the unit in March, Magna's Canadian shares have declined 2.5%. On Tuesday, Magna's U.S. shares rose 31 cents to close at $60.50 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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