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George reportedly submits offer to buy IndyCar

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A group led by Tony George submitted an offer to Hulman & Co. this week to buy the IndyCar open-wheel race circuit, Sports Business Journal reported on Friday.

As reported by IBJ Oct. 1, George’s investor group is said to include several team owners who compete in the series, including motorsports heavyweights Chip Ganassi, Roger Penske, Kevin Kalkhoven and Michael Andretti. Zak Brown, owner of Zionsville-based Just Marketing International, a motorsports marketing agency, also is reported to be part of the investor group.

Owners of Hulman & Co. and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which controls the IndyCar Series, refused today to confirm or deny that an offer was received and repeated that they have no interest in selling the series.

Sports Business Journal motorsports reporter Tripp Mickle said a reliable source told him that George has hired law firm Faegre Baker Daniels to help study the open-wheel race series’ financials and put together a proposal.

Sources told IBJ George’s offer is a seven-figure cash proposal to take over management and assume future losses for the series.

The IndyCar Series has lost money every year since it was founded in 1996 by George. Sources told IBJ for an Oct. 8 story that while the annual loss has decreased over the last two years, it was $7 million for the 2012 season.

George, who was formerly head of the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, led a deal in 2008 to consolidate open-wheel racing after IndyCar Series' 12-year split with rival CART.

George resigned under pressure in 2009 after butting heads with his three sisters and mother, who led the board that oversaw the race series and Speedway.

The board in 2009 replaced George with Jeff Belskus as CEO of the Speedway. That same year, board members offered to let George remain as IndyCar CEO, but he declined. George also resigned from the board overseeing the track and series. He was replaced as IndyCar Series CEO by Randy Bernard.

In 2011, George came back on the board overseeing the series and Speedway.

The series recently completed a season plagued by declining television ratings and tepid live attendance. Several team owners became angry with Bernard over escalating prices for parts to the new chassis he introduced this year and other series management issues.

Undaunted, Bernard earlier this month announced a 16-event, 19-race IndyCar schedule for 2013.

One source inside the series told IBJ this week that “Bernard is hanging by a thread. A very thin thread.”

 

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  • the story continues
    what does Zak say?
  • more
    so, the story continues. what does Zak say?
  • No truth to this at all...
    ....and neither is the rumor the Iranians are building a nuclear bomb. LOL, Doug Boles must think the gullible are biting on that tripe. Bwahahhahha, one insider is!
  • 25/8
    A statement from Doug Boles is about as reliable as a statment from you.
  • Reality Check for the Obsessed
    With what portion of 'the series IS NOT FOR SALE' are the obsessed having problems wrapping their tiny brains around? "I guess that's probably why we're so unequivocal in our comment to say that the series is not for sale because we want the story to end. I guess the best way to end it is just to say that the series is not for sale and if others just choose to go on with the story I guess that's up to them I don't know how we can be more clear than to say that the IndyCar Series is not for sale". Doug Boles - Vice President Of Communications Hulman & Companies
  • So he got the family
    to spend over 700 million dollars on his hobby and now he is offering pennies to take it over. That'll work. The owners working with him must not have any plans for their new series to be popular.
  • Strange bedfellows
    Tony started IRL, in part, because he disagreed with the owners having so much power; and now he's in bed with some of the same owners he opposed in '96. Can we spell H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-S-Y? I thought he got a raw deal, but I'm begining to think perhaps Ma and the sisters knew what they were doing.
  • interesting proposal
    Certainly an interesting group of owner investors - who obviously believe and support Tony's efforts and all want to make concerted effort to succeed. I think they deserve to be heard. Though the Hulman's obviouvly want to keep this strictly in the family.
  • Crazy
    Tony George is crazy. Why does he think that he can do a better job of running the series that he couldn't do in his first 12 years? Where is he going to keep the deep amounts of cash to keep the series afloat?
  • Lovin it
    This more grater news. The IRL will rise again....from the ashes of the IRL.
  • Hahahhahhahabwahhahha
    Lost $7 MILLION in 2012. Fire where there's smoke! TV ratings DOWN 30% in 2012, attendance flat and receding, sanction fee almost non-existent, races cancelled. CART still dead, twice...but was faster, sexier, had a HUGE following, cars looked like AOW race cars, had more ovals and more Americans in it. The current IRL-ish Indy Carz are NOT the future...they are a freakish mutation. All hail TONY GEORGE and the OWNERS as the saviors of the sport!!! Rumor has it they will immediately bankrupt the series and start fresh. I support this message.
  • 25/8
    Um, uh Mommy, I um want to buy, um the IR, err the Indy Car series. I had a big, um yard sale and saved up a bunch of, um money. After you um fired me, I don't um feel that special. I am entitled, to um be the Inheritor. Ed won, why um can't I?

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