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Nascar set to take over International Speedway in $2-billion deal

Nascar buys International Speedway for $2 billion
Picture Courtesy: Tim Trad (Unsplash)

Racetrack operator International Speedway Corp. (Nasdaq: ISCA) Wednesday said it has agreed to be acquired by Nascar Holdings, a sanctioning body for motorsport events, for about $2 billion. The deal, which is expected to be game-changer for the highly competitive motorsport industry, will give Nascar control of several key tracks owned by ISC.

As per the terms of the deal, shareholders of ISC will receive $45 in cash for each share of the company’s common stock. The merger has been approved by a special panel comprising independent directors of the ISC board. The transaction is expected to close later this year. Prior to that, the company’s common shareholders need to ratify the buyout, which is also pending regulatory sanctions.

The purchase price is around 7% higher than the $42-per share offer made by Nascar around six months ago. On completion of the buyout, ISC will be merged into Nascar to form a privately held single entity.

Related: International Speedway Corp. Q1 2019 Earnings Call Transcript

The majority stake in the new company will be held by the France family, which owns the Nascar group. While making the initial offer, Nascar CEO Jim France had termed the move as the first step towards bringing structural changes to the sport and well-positioning it for long term success.

Of late, ISC has been investing heavily in racetracks, such as the popular ISM Raceway, taking a cue from the recent spike in the number of branded events being organized at such venues. The company’s long-term broadcast partnerships are also an important source of revenue.

As per the terms of the deal, shareholders of ISC will receive $45 in cash for each share of the company’s common stock

The company recently reaffirmed its full-year revenue guidance in the range of $685 million to $705 million. For the most recent quarter, it reported earnings of $0.57 per share on revenue of $150.6 million, which fell short of expectations.  

Nascar, a long-term partner to the Daytona Beach-based ISC, has been buying the latter’s stock since early last year. The combination will give Nascar seamless access to more than a dozen popular racing tracks owned by ISC, including the Daytona International Speedway. Most of the racetracks sanctioned by Nascar are owned by the company.

Shares of International Speedway were up 2.5% Wednesday afternoon, following the news. The stock rose about 5% in the last six months and 9% since last year, all along witnessing significant volatility.

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