NASCAR – Why Buying Up All Outstanding ISC Stock Plays Into The Minority Sale Of NASCAR

NASCAR – Why Buying Up All Outstanding ISC Stock Plays Into The Minority Sale Of NASCAR


NASCAR is looking to purchase the remaining outstanding stock of International Speedway Corp which owns ISM Raceway in Phoenix where the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Can-Am 500 was held on Sunday. (Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images) Getty

As the 2018 NASCAR season nears its end, eyes are already focused on the consolidation of the racing sanctioning body’s moves ahead of 2020 that include a tiered model for Cup naming rights, the addition of more short track races and more, as part of scheduling changes as track contracts expire.

As I reported in June, the France family is looking to sell a minority stake in NASCAR and news on Friday helps set that up.

NASCAR announced that they submitted a non-binding offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Class A common stock and Class B common stock of International Speedway Corporation (ISC) that were not already controlled by the stockholders of NASCAR. In doing so, the intent is to pull ISC and NASCAR into one unit that is run by the France family.

“In a highly competitive sports and entertainment landscape, a more unified strategic approach is important to our future growth,” said Jim France, NASCAR Chairman and CEO. “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.”

In parsing France’s words, the combining of the two is a “step forward” in the process of stabilizing a sport in transition.

Both logically and practically, the process of buying the outstanding shares and ISC by NASCAR would need to be part of any minority sale. There are 13 tracks owned by ISC, all of which host premier NASCAR races. Beyond just the tracks, they own a 50 percent interest in the Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway, the independent radio Motor Racing Network, and Americrown Service Corporation, a catering and concessions company. With such a large component to NASCAR, any minority sale without ISC in play would create difficulties in control and direction. Who would wish to invest in a company that would see such a critical part of it fragmented?

Emails sent late Friday to NASCAR seeking comment regarding the consolidation playing into the minority sale were not returned as of publication.

Beyond the minority sale, the unification process is seen as creating sponsorship sales and other business aspects more effective and efficient. According COO Steve Phelps, NASCAR  is looking to “bundle” sponsorships with TV networks, tracks and the sanctioning body beginning in 2020. This unification process lends itself to reaching sponsorship agreements with greater ease. By “bundling,” sponsors get away from having to reach individual agreements with drivers, teams, tracks and NASCAR as a sanctioning body.

Ahead of the purchase of the outstanding ISC stock by NASCAR, Daryl Wolfe was made chief sales and partnership officer of NASCAR and also serves in the role with International Speedway Corporation.

As to the stock purchase, according to NASCAR they have retained Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC as its financial advisor and Baker Botts as its legal counsel as well as, BDT & Company is serving as financial advisor to the France family. According to NASCAR the “offer will be reviewed by a special committee of independent ISC board members advised by independent legal and financial advisors. In the interim, NASCAR and ISC will continue to operate separate as independent entities.”

TRACKS OWNED BY ISC

  • Daytona International Speedway in Florida
  • Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama
  • Michigan International Speedway located outside Detroit
  • Richmond Raceway in Virginia
  • Auto Club Speedway of Southern California, near Los Angeles
  • Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas
  • ISM Raceway in Arizona
  • Chicagoland Speedway near Chicago, Illinois
  • Route 66 Raceway, near Chicago, Illinois
  • Homestead-Miami Speedway, in Florida
  • Martinsville Speedway in Virginia
  • Darlington Raceway in South Carolina
  • Watkins Glen International in New York

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.