NASCAR announces intention to buy shares of International Speedway Corp not already owned by the France Family; a prospective deal worth a reported $1.9 billion

By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- NASCAR announced Friday that it had made a non-binding offer to acquire outstanding shares of International Speedway Corp. not already owned by the billionaire France Family.

The goal, according to a NASCAR news release, is to combine pubb.icly-traded ISC and privately-owned NASCAR as one privately-run entity under the exclusive control and ownership of the France family.

NASCAR has submitted a non-binding cash offer of $42 per share to acquire all outstanding shares of common stock of ISC not already owned by the controlling shareholders of NASCAR, namely the France Family. As of Friday afternoon, ISC stock closed at $39.06 per share.

Bloomberg reported Friday that the NASCAR offer was worth approximately $1.9 billion.

“In a highly competitive sports and entertainment landscape, a more unified strategic approach is important to our future growth,” Jim France, interim chairman, and chief executive officer of NASCAR said in a written statement.

“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," France continued.

NASCAR has retained Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC as its financial advisor and Baker Botts as its legal counsel in connection with the negotiation and consummation of a mutually acceptable transaction, and BDT & Co. is serving as financial advisor to the France family.

NASCAR’s offer will be reviewed by a special committee of independent ISC board members advised by independent legal and financial advisors. In the meantime, NASCAR and ISC will continue to operate separately as independent entities, though that separation is as thin as a razor  The special committee is comprised of J. Hyatt Brown, Larry Aiello Jr., Larree Renda and William Graves, each of whom is an independent director of the company. Brown, who will serve as the chairman, is a former Florida Speaker of the Huse and chairman of Brown and Brown Insurance of Daytona Beach.

Brown currently serves as a trustee on the ISC Board of Directors along with Mori Hosseini, owner of ICI Homes of Daytona, and Lesa France Kennedy, president, and CEO of ISC. France Kennedy, Brown and Hosseini are considered the Big 3 influential insiders in financing political campaigns of candidates for public offices out of Volusia County at the municipal, county, state and federal levels.

ISC said its board, which met Friday in Scottsdale, Ariz.,had just received the non-binding proposal letter from NASCAR and no decisions had been made.

NASCAR issued a statement with Friday's proposal, emphasizing "the outcome of this prospective offer will not impact the France family’s long-term commitment to the sport, nor its interest in maintaining its current ownership in ISC, as the France family is not interested in selling its shares of ISC at this time.”

Friday’s announcement follows an announcement by NASCAR earlier this year that it had obtained the services of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., to find potential buyers of NASCAR itself.

ISC currently owns 13 tracks, including Daytona International Speedway, home of NASCAR's signature race, the Daytona 500, collectively holding 19 of the 36 races on the schedule of NASCAR’s premier Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

FAST FACTS: 
• In 2014, the Daytona Beach City Commission and the Volusia County Council each voted unanimously to give ISC $20 million each towards its own funding for the One Daytona retail-entertainment complex across the street from Daytona International Speedway Corp.
•  In 2017, the Daytona Beach City Commission and the Volusia County Council agreed unanimously in separate votes to provide Brown and Brown insurance $15 million in taxpayer subsidies for its new highrise being built on Beach Street. 
 
DID YOU KNOW?
Headline Surfer has won several journalism industry awards for its coverage of NASCAR events at Daytona International Speedway: 
• 2018, Florida Press Club, First Place, Sports Reporting, Headline Surfer, Austin Dillon wins Daytona 500 in last-lap bump and wreck of race leader Aric Almirola, Feb. 19, 2018, https://headlinesurfer.com/content/austin-dillon-wins-daytona-500-last-l...
• 2012 Florida Press Club, First Place, Blog Writing, 
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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com for a decade now. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards in print anddigital platforms. Frederick is enrolled at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's three-fourths through the online Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation is in August.