Speedway Motorsports (TRK) is the owner of 8 racetracks around the United States, they primarily host NASCAR events and other smaller motorsports promotion races. The company is 71% owned by founder Bruton Smith and his family, earlier this year a entity controlled by the Smith family (Sonic Financial) offered to buyout the minority shareholders for $18 per share. This follows a similar path as TRK's larger peer, International Speedway (ISCA) which has agreed to be taken private by the controlling France family (who also own NASCAR).
Similar to other sports, TV broadcasting rights are a major source of revenue for NASCAR, they entered into a 10 year deal with Fox and NBC that runs through 2024. NASCAR's structure is a little different than others, the governing body is privately owned and receives approximately 10% of the TV revenue, the racetracks themselves are owned by three publicly trades companies (ISCA, TRK, and smaller DVD) which receive approximately 65% of the TV revenue, with the remaining 25% going to the drivers and their teams. The France family will be merging NASCAR and International Speedway once the deal closes.
NASCAR has struggled since peaking in the early 2000s, television ratings and attendance have fallen through the floor, with many people point to changing the car to make it safer (but leads to dull racing) or to the general decline in interest in cars. But it still garners media attention, like all sports programming it is something that needs to be watched live and has a niche loyal following that would complain if it was suddenly dropped from cable television packages. Interestingly, the most recent television contracts were struck in 2012 and 2013 with a 30% increase from the previous deals despite clear evidence that NASCAR was already in decline. Maybe the Smith family has an inside track on what the next deal might look like? If so, now is an opportunistic time to take it private, retool the sport and industry structure outside of public shareholder view, with the 5 years left on the current TV contract providing much of the cash to fund the take-private deal.
I can't find any historical news on it, but Chuck Akre mentions in the podcast Invest Like the Best a history with Bruton Smith (well not by name) indicating that several decades ago when Smith took Charlotte Motor Speedway (predecessor to TRK) private and that he had his hand in public shareholders pockets, Akre vowed never to invest with him again. But since returning to public markets, it appears TRK has acted reasonably with minority shareholders, the Smith family have maintained their ~70% ownership throughout the current iteration's history. But there is some history here of minority shareholder abuse.
This situation likely follows that of International Speedway ($42 bid in November, followed by a $45 accepted offer in May) and there's a 5-10% bump from the $18 offer price, the market is certainly anticipating one with the stock trading around $18.50 per share.
Disclosure: I own shares of TRK
$19.75 + $0.15 dividend
Well done. The one post with zero comments obviously generates the best IRR.ReplyDelete
I didn't own much of it, but the little wins can add up as you well know.Delete