GREENVILLE, MS-Churchill Downs Inc. has acquired Harlow's CasinoResort & Hotel for about $138 million. The acquisition of thecasino property follows its licensure by the Mississippi StateGaming Commission.

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The Louisville, KY-based company, which owns the racetrack thathosts the Kentucky Derby, bought the property from Levine LeichtmanCapital Partners. The Los Angeles-based investor provided astructured equity investment through its Levine Leichtman CapitalPartners III, a $500 million fund that has yielded a 29% IRR and a2.3x cash-on-cash return.

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"The Harlow's investment has been very successful for ourpartners, our management team and all of the Company'sstakeholders,” says Lauren Leichtman, CEO of Levine Leichtman. “Weare proud of this first-class gaming facility, which has exceededall expectations of growth and popularity since it opened itsdoors."

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Churchill Down’s COO William Carstanjen says the Harlow’sacquisition helps to diversify the company’s business and is partof its growth strategy.

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Located on 69 acres of leased land near the Mississippi River,Harlow’s Casino Resort & Hotel features a 33,000-square-footgaming floor with 841 Class III slot machines, 23 table games and apoker room. In addition it boasts a five-story, 105-room attachedhotel, a 2,600-seat entertainment center and three separate diningareas. It employs approximately 480 people.

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Harlow’s Casino Resort & Hotel was constructed in 2006 and2007 and opened in November 2007. It sits at the base of a new $336million U.S. Highway 82 bridge, which connects Harlow's to theneighboring state of Arkansas.

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Investment banking firm Houlihan Lokey advised Harlow's CasinoResort & Hotel on the sale.

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