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AUTOWEEK GOES INSIDE THE FINANCES AT CART BEFORE ITS IPO
Published January 13, 1998
CART looks to raise as much as $84.1M by issuing 4.573 million shares of stock in its IPO, which would mean it hopes to sell its stock initially for $18.40 per share, once the SEC approves the offering, "probably within the next few weeks," according to Larry Edsall of AUTOWEEK. Statements filed with the SEC showed that "about half" of the auto- racing body's annual income of roughly $40M has come from sanction fees. Under current deals, those fees range from $850,000 to $4.1M per event. In '97, tracks paid $24.4M to CART, but that figure "should grow" to $30.4M in '98, "in part because of new events in Houston and Japan." CART also projects that sponsorship revenues will grow from $7.2M last year to $12.1M this year (Larry Edsall, AUTOWEEK, 1/12). WILL IT FLY? AUTOWEEK's Edsall: "Despite the healthy cash flow, analysts aren't sure how the IPO will go over with investors." Josephthal & Co. analyst Dennis McAlpine: "A couple of the racetrack stocks are doing very well. They are fixed-cost facilities. ... But a sanctioning body doesn't have the same sort of leverage. CART also has its own peculiarities because of the split with the IRL." To "prepare" for the IPO, CART reorganized, with each of the team franchises receiving 400,000 shares of stock. At $18.40 per share, each team would be worth at least $7.36M. Team "owners aren't giving up much control; they'll retain nearly 70 percent of the company" (AUTOWEEK, 1/12).