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Sauer to steer Churchill Downs’ corporate development and acquisitions


Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) has promoted Jason Sauer to the role of senior vice-president of corporate development, with the operator suggesting Sauer’s experience in mergers and acquisitions will be of particular importance in his new role.

Sauer previously served as vice-president of corporate development, having moved up from the position of senior director of corporate development in 2019. He joined CDI in 2014.

CDI said that Sauer would work with senior management to develop and execute the company’s growth initiatives and would report directly to chief executive Bill Carstanjen.

“Jason brings a keen aptitude for both traditional M&A deals as well as non-standard, complex commercial arrangements,” said Carstanjen. “During his tenure with CDI, Jason has demonstrated the knowledge and ability to identify and analyze potential growth opportunities and we are pleased to announce this well-deserved promotion.”

Sauer graduated from Harvard College before studying at the University of Kentucky Rosenberg College of Law. He holds additional graduate degrees from the University of Kentucky and the University of Cambridge.

Prior to joining CDI, Sauer worked as a legal counsel and attorney for different organizations. He recently returned to CDI after having served his second deployment in the Middle East as a Lieutenant Commander of the United States Navy Reserve.

Sauer’s promotion comes at a time of expansion for the racing and gaming operator.

In March, CDI announced a plan to raise more than $500m through a combination of a term loan and an offering of senior notes.

CDI rebranded its sportsbook and online gaming offerings to TwinSpires in January, bringing it under the same brand as its online pari-mutuel betting product.

It has subsequently launched in several states, including MichiganTennessee, Indiana and Colorado.