Tags: nascar | majority | owners | sale

Majority Owners Explore Sale of NASCAR: Sources

Majority Owners Explore Sale of NASCAR: Sources
(Mohamed Ahmed Soliman | Dreamstime)

Monday, 07 May 2018 03:36 PM

The majority owners of NASCAR, the company which operates the namesake U.S. car-racing series and other motorsport events, are exploring options that include the sale of a majority stake, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The move comes as NASCAR grapples with an aging fan base, stricter safety rules and a competitive media landscape that have weighed on its popularity and made it less attractive to advertisers and sponsors.

The France family, which controls NASCAR, is working with investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to identify a potential deal for the company, three sources said, cautioning that the deliberations are at exploratory stage and no agreement of any kind is certain.

The sources asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential.

"We do not have anything to add," NASCAR spokeswoman Steph Harris said. Goldman Sachs offered no immediate comment.

NASCAR could attract interest from media companies and private equity firms, according to the sources.

The company was founded by Bill France Sr. in Daytona Beach, Florida in 1948. Drivers in its races, such as Dale Earnhardt Sr, became household names, and major companies rushed to have their brands affiliated with NASCAR.

But as its loyal fans grew older, younger consumers showed less enthusiasm for the sport. There is still, however, a lot of competition between broadcasters, technology companies and cable operators for live sports rights, as advertisers seek events that viewers want to watch real-time.

"In a time period that is attractive for live event and live entertainment, Nascar has struggled," said Rich Greenfield, an analyst with BTIG. "There is absolutely a desire to own rather than license content but everything has a price."

NASCAR has been dabbling in so-called e-sports in a bid to reach younger audiences. Earlier this year, 704Games, NASCAR's exclusive video game licensee, said it would bring NASCAR Heat Champions to Daytona International Speedway during the Daytona 500 weekend.

In 2017, Liberty Media Corp. spent more than $8 billion, including debt, to acquire international motor sports league Formula 1, ending a long-running saga surrounding the sport’s ownership and potential flotation. The new owners have shaken up its management, and put a sharper focus on new media markets and boosted its presence in North America.

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The majority owners of NASCAR, the company which operates the namesake U.S. car-racing series and other motorsport events, are exploring options that include the sale of a majority stake, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.
nascar, majority, owners, sale
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2018-36-07
Monday, 07 May 2018 03:36 PM
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