Reuters recently reported that the owners of National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) are holding talks about a potential sale. Bill France Senior founded NASCAR back in 1948 and the France family now owns a majority stake in the company.
The company’s founding family is reported to be working with multi-national investment bank Goldman Sachs about possible deals.
However, the two parties have made “no agreement” as of now. Court documents show that NASCAR is co-owned by France Sr.'s son Jim France and his granddaughter Lesa France Kennedy.
The company has struggled during the past year to attract in-person and TV-viewing fans.
In addition, the public companies that own racetracks where NASCAR races are held have seen revenue drops of nearly 55 percent during the past decade. The recent retirement of NASCAR stars Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon have also resulted in ratings plummets.
NASCAR has also has been losing sponsors recently. They include ones like Home Depot, Sprint and UPS. Lowe’s will be leaving NASCAR after this racing season. SportsBusiness Journal reports NASCAR would likely have a price tag of $3 billion to $5 billion but NASCAR is yet to confirm or deny rumours about a potential sale.
A NASCAR spokesperson would not comment on the possible sale. Last month Jim France stated “Our business is racing” after purchasing the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) Series. On Tuesday the Associated Press shared a memo allegedly written by NASCAR president Brent Dewar which pointed out that NASCAR never comments about “industry rumors.”
Potential Buyers For NASCAR
The France family has been in similar potential sale talks in the past but nothing came to fruition. Apart from selling rumors, there were also rumors in January that the family was interested in buying the Carolina Panthers for $2 billion.
Assuming these recent rumors are true, one potential bidder is Speedway Motorsports Inc. Comcast also might submit a bid to buy NASCAR as the telecom conglomerate sponsors the Xfinity Series and would follow in the footsteps of Liberty Media completing its purchase of Formula One in 2017 for $8 billion.
However, it is still difficult to work out the details of a possible sale of NASCAR. The France family owns about three-quarters of the company’s stock and Lesa France serves as CEO of International Speedway Corp., a public company which operates a dozen tracks.