De Francis declines to pull buyout trigger

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Pimlico/Laurel president Joe De Francis again said yesterday that he will not trigger the Russian Roulette clause of a stockholders agreement that he has with his minority partners, Tom and Bob Manfuso, that could lead him to sell or buy them out.

"Theoretically it is possible that the Manfusos could gain control of the tracks," De Francis said. "But it would only come after all judicial procedures were exhausted and if they offer to sell at an outrageous price. I won't pay any price unimaginable to buy them out. But I will pay a reasonable amount."

The Manfusos, who have said they will trigger the Russian Roulette clause, "on or about Oct. 1," did not do so yesterday. Their attorney, Herb Garten, said he anticipated no action over the weekend.

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