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Argosy Gaming Begins Talks with Minority Partner in Lawrenceburg Casino

3 May 2000

Argosy Gaming Co. (NYSE: AGY) announced that it received notification Friday from Conseco Inc. of its intent to sell its 29 percent limited partnership interest in the Lawrenceburg riverboat casino.

The Argosy Casino, on the Ohio River at Lawrenceburg, Indiana, is one of the largest and most profitable riverboat casinos in the country. It's the closest casino to Cincinnati, Ohio, and in March had gambling revenue of $31 million.

Argosy is based in Alton, Illinois, near St. Louis, Missouri. It owns riverboat casinos in four states, in addition to a 57.5 percent stake in the Lawrenceburg casino and hotel.

The Lawrenceburg project has been the salvation of Argosy. Some of the company's smaller casinos have not performed well.

Conseco is an Indiana insurance company whose financial and political muscle helped Argosy with the Lawrenceburg development. But recently, Conseco has fallen on hard times. Its chairman and founder was recently forced out of the company.

The partnership agreement among Argosy, Conseco and several partners with much smaller stakes spells out procedures for minority partners who want to sell.

Conseco's announcement is irrevocable. The partners now have 60 days to negotiate a price and six months to close the deal.

If they don't agree on a price, the agreement has a procedure for getting an appraisal. If Argosy doesn't want to pay the price determined by the appraiser, Argosy is required to solicit bids and sell all of the Lawrenceburg assets within 12 months to the highest bidder.

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