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NASCAR for sale?

9 May 2018

Reuters has reported that the France family, which has been the majority owners of NASCAR since its founding in 1948, is considering selling the enterprise, along with the International Speedway Corp that owns 9 circuits, in which it has a controlling interest. According to unnamed sources, the family is working with Goldman Sachs to identify a potential deal for the business. Reuters has also reported that the discussions are exploratory in nature and no deal is imminent, nor has any figure been announced although some analysts have said that the total value could match the $8 billion that Liberty Media paid for Formula 1.

The latest rumours follow those in in February about the business being for sale with media giant Comcast quoted as being interested. It is already one of NASCAR’s most important partners, serving as both a media rights partner and title partner through its NBC Sports and Xfinity brands, respectively. Currently, though, it is preparing a $60 billion offer for 21st Century Fox.

The mooted sale comes as NASCAR has been hit with declining sales, an ageing fan base, stricter safety rules and the retirement of fan favourites such as Dale Earnhardt Jr. Meanwhile younger consumers have shown less enthusiasm for the sport which also has also impacted on TV ratings.

Sponsors are also harder to find. The expected two or three year extension with Monster Energy is just for one year and is reportedly worth around 40 per cent of the deal with Sprint as title sponsor that superseded it.

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