IBJNews

George reportedly submits offer to buy IndyCar

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

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.”

 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • 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?

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

  2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

  3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

  4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

  5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.

ADVERTISEMENT