Nascar makes US$1.9bn bid for ISC and its race tracks

Deal would bring publicly held facilities under stock car racing series umbrella.

Nascar makes US$1.9bn bid for ISC and its race tracks

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Nascar, the North American racing series, has made a bid in an attempt to acquire the International Speedway Corporation (ISC) in a move that would privatise the publicly held race track management company.

If successful, the non-binding proposal to acquire all outstanding shares of Class A common stock and Class B common stock of the ISC, would see the two businesses operating under a single umbrella.

Bloomberg has estimated the offer – for all shares not currently owned by the France family – to be worth in the region of US$1.9 billion – at US$42 per share.

Bill France Sr. founded both Nascar and the ISC, with senior management positions at both still held by members of the family. Jim France is the acting chief executive and chairman of Nascar; Brian France was Nascar’s chief executive and chairman until taking a leave of absence after being arrested on suspicion of drink-driving in August, at which point Jim, his uncle, replaced him.

The ISC, which is a publicly traded company, owns 13 active tracks which collectively hold 19 of the 36 events on the schedule of Nascar's top tier Monster Energy Cup Series, including the Daytona International Speedway and the Talladega Superspeedway.

Nascar’s offer will be considered by a committee of independent ISC board members advised by independent legal and financial advisors. Meanwhile, the two companies will operate as independent entities until a conclusion is reached.

Jim France said of the announcement of the bid: “In a highly competitive sports and entertainment landscape, a more unified strategic approach is important to our future growth. We believe the industry requires structural changes to best position the sport for long-term success and this offer represents a positive step forward in that direction.”