NASCAR Closes Deal To Merge With ISC
NASCAR has closed its acquisition of International Speedway Corp. (ISC), merging the operations into a single new company, which will retain the NASCAR name and remain based in Daytona Beach, FL. As part of this process, ISC has been delisted from NASDAQ.
Leading the combined company, Jim France will serve as chairman/CEO, with Lesa France Kennedy as executive vice chair. Steve Phelps has been appointed president and will oversee all operations of the merged entity.
“The merger of NASCAR and ISC represents a historic moment for our sport,” France says. “There is much work ahead of us, but we’re pleased with the progress made to position our sport for success. Delivering for our race fans and partners is job number one, and we look forward to doing that better than ever for years to come.”
According to the company’s announcement, the merger represents an important step forward for NASCAR as the sport creates a unified vision to embrace its long history of exciting, family-oriented racing experiences while developing strategic growth initiatives that will drive the passion of core fans and attract the next generation of race fans.
“This sport has meant so much to our family, and we are committed to leading NASCAR through this next chapter of growth,” says Kennedy. “Combining the two companies will allow us to capture the best aspects of both operations. Our stronger organization will allow us to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities to grow the sport over the next decade plus.”
The board of directors for the new organization will comprise France, Kennedy, Mike Helton, and Chief Legal Officer Gary Crotty. Phelps’s direct reports will represent executives with deep industry experience, including Ed Bennett, executive VP/chief administrative officer; Jill Gregory, executive VP/chief marketing and content officer; Craig Neeb, executive VP/chief innovation officer; Steve O’Donnell, executive VP/chief racing development officer; and Daryl Wolfe, executive VP/chief operations and sales officer. In addition, Helton and John Saunders will serve as senior advisors under the new leadership structure.
“With great racing across all of our series, an exciting 2020 schedule on tap, and the next-gen race car in development, we are better positioned than ever before to lead the sport into a new era of growth,” says Phelps. “We have a strong, experienced leadership team in place with incredibly dedicated employees at every level throughout our organization. Our best days are ahead of us, and our new organization is going to allow us to better deliver great racing to our fans everywhere.”
Advising NASCAR on this transaction were Goldman, Sachs & Co. LLC as exclusive financial advisor and Baker Botts LLP as legal counsel. Dean Bradley Osborne Partners LLC served as financial advisor; Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, as legal counsel to the ISC special committee. Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP served as legal counsel to ISC, and BDT & Company served as financial advisor to the France family.