Guida drops effort to buy De Francis' stock in Laurel


LAUREL -- Lou Guida said yesterday that he will not persist in efforts to buy out the stock of Laurel Race Course controlling owner Joe De Francis.

After Guida received official word that his second offer -- increased from $8 million Monday to $9.5 million Wednesday -- had been rejected by De Francis, he said: "I thought it was a fair offer, but it's a free country. He can do what he wants.

"There's no point in making further offers," said Guida, whose Laurel/Guida group owns a 50 percent equity interest in the track. Because his stock is in the form of a limited (non-voting) partnership, Guida has no say in track management.

Guida said a third-party buyout of his stock "is certainly something that might happen . . . it's a possibility. But that won't be an easy task since it's a limited partnership."

De Francis said Tuesday that he was adamant in his refusal to sell his share, which amounts to a 20 percent equity interest and the majority of voting stock.

Guida said he has no current or future interest in Pimlico Race Course, which De Francis also controls.

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