The Smith family, majority owners of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., could soon have total control over the company.
According to Bob Pockrass of FOX Sports, the Smith family has offered to buy out the remaining shares of the publicly-held company at $18 per share through their privately-held Sonic Financial Corporation. The Smiths own about 71 percent of the company at the moment.
The Smith family, through its privately held Sonic Financial Corporation, has offered to buy the non-Smith family shareholders of SMI at $18 a share. SMI has formed a committee to look at the deal. The most recent SEC filing say the Smiths own about 71% of the stock. @NASCARONFOX
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) April 24, 2019
In a letter addressed to the company’s Board of Directors and filed on the Security Exchange Commission website, SMI Executive Vice President Marcus Smith writes, “Our Proposal should not be construed as indicating an interest in participating in any alternative change of control transaction involving the Company. The Smith Group, in their capacities as shareholders, have no interest in selling control of TRK [SMI stock symbol].”
At the time that the letter was written, the $18 per share price represented a significant premium over the stock’s closing price. As of this writing, the stock is up $4.77 to $18.70 per share, more than the offer filed with the SEC and a 52-week high for the stock.
The SMI Board of Directors is currently evaluating the proposal.
Pockrass estimates that the deal would be worth between $210-220 million, which would be earned back through TV money by 2024.
SMI owns the following tracks: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Sonoma Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway, which make up one-third of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule. SMI also owns former MENCS track North Wilkesboro Speedway.
Bristol, Charlotte, Las Vegas and Sonoma also host NHRA events, while Texas hosts the NTT IndyCar Series in June. Charlotte, Texas and Las Vegas operate dirt tracks on their properties. SMI also owns the Performance Racing Network radio network.
This could potentially make Dover International Speedway the only Cup Series track on the schedule owned by a public company, as the majority of the tracks are owned by the France-controlled International Speedway Corporation, which could also be taken private. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is owned by the IMS Corporation (a subsidiary of Hulman & Co.), and Pocono Raceway is owned by Mattco, Inc.