TORONTO, ON. – The Stronach Group announced Thursday that all of the litigation between Frank and Elfriede Stronach and Belinda Stronach, Frank Walker and Nicole Walker, Alon Ossip and Stronach Consulting Corp. has been dismissed by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice as a result of a settlement agreed to by the parties.
Belinda Stronach will continue in her role as Chairman and President of The Stronach Group and with full leadership and control of the company’s world-class Thoroughbred racing, gaming, real estate and related assets. This includes all businesses under The Stronach Group’s consumer-facing brand, 1/ST: 1/ST RACING; 1/ST TECHNOLOGY; 1/ST LIVE; 1/ST PROPERTIES, and; 1/ST HORSE CARE.
Frank and Elfriede Stronach, through their own personal entity, will assume full leadership, ownership and control of the Thoroughbred stallion and breeding business, including Stronach Stables. This includes all farm operations, horses operating under the Adena brand in Florida, Kentucky and Ontario and cattle located in Florida. Certain Ontario farmlands, certain agricultural assets in Florida, FM Meats, Fort McCoy Ranch by Adena Farms, Adena Golf & Country Club (Ocala) and all European assets are part of this settlement. Frank and Elfriede Stronach will no longer have any interest in The Stronach Group.
Belinda Stronach said, “I am pleased that my father will be able to focus on an agricultural business and related projects that are his passion. The settlement will allow The Stronach Group to continue building successful companies with quality jobs that contribute to the community.”
Frank Stronach commented, “I am glad that our disagreements have been resolved amongst ourselves and have utmost confidence in The Stronach Group’s Thoroughbred racing and gaming businesses, which will remain under Belinda’s management.”
The parties said they will not be providing any additional comments.
The family fortune stems from Frank Stronach, who built the global Magna automotive manufacturing business.
Frank Stronach emigrated from Austria to Canada in 1954, when he was 21. Three years later, he set up a tool and die shop in a garage near Dupont and Dufferin. The business expanded rapidly, growing with Canada’s burgeoning manufacturing sector, and in 1969 the company merged with Magna Electronics, a publicly traded industrial parts manufacturer. Frank bought Beechwood Farm in Aurora, Ontario, and married Elfriede Sallmutter, a young Austrian woman. Their daughter, Belinda, was born in 1966. A son, Andrew, followed two years later.
Frank Stronach had purchased several racetracks in North America in the 1990s and 2000s including Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, Golden Gate Fields in Albany, California, Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida, Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, Laurel Park Racecourse in Laurel, Maryland.
Stronach-owned and bred horses have won the Queen’s Plate in 1994 with Basqueian and 1997 with Awesome Again; the Belmont Stakes in 1997 with Touch Gold; and, the Preakness Stakes in 2000 with Red Bullet. His horse Ghostzapper, now standing stud at Adena Farms, won several major races including the 2004 Breeders’ Cup Classic. Ghostzapper was voted the Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year, and named the World’s Top Ranked Horse for 2004.
In Canada, Stronach/Stronach Stables has won the Sovereign Award for Outstanding Owner nine times. In the United States, he earned the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Owner in 1998, 1999, and 2000. In 2000, he won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Breeder.
Stronach established Adena Springs Farms which owns horse breeding operations in Kentucky, Florida and Canada. He won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Breeder in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
Frank Stronach had aquired several racetracks in North America in the 1990s and 2000s including Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, for $126 million in 1998, and Golden Gate Fields in Albany, California for $87 million in 1999; Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida, for $95 million in 1999; and historic Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore and Laurel Park in, Laurel, Maryland for $136 million in 2001.
Among Frank Stronach’s earliest successes was his partnership with Nelson Bunker Hunt in the filly Glorious Song who was voted the 1980 Sovereign Award for Canadian Horse of the Year.
Mr. Stronach’s passion for horse racing and breeding has helped to preserve five historic racetracks, produce champion sires and race horses, and create the iconic sculpture of Pegasus at Gulfstream Park, his homage to the spirit of the horse and its contribution to human history over millennia.
Past The Wire Staff
Photo: Belinda (left) and Frank Stronach. Credit: Cecilia Gustavsson