Sonic Financial Corp. Makes Offer To Acquire SMI

Sonic Speedway Motorsports
Sonic Financial Corp. has made an offer to purchase outstanding shares of common stock of Speedway Motorsports Inc., which operates eight tracks, including Charlotte Motor Speedway. (NASCAR photo)

CONCORD, N.C. — Speedway Motorsports Inc. officials announced Wednesday that Sonic Financial Corp., a company owned by O. Bruton Smith and his family, has made a non-binding offer to purchase all outstanding shares of SMI common stock.

Smith is the founder and majority stakeholder of SMI, which operates eight tracks holding dates on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule.

The offer is similar in nature to an offer made by NASCAR in November to acquire all outstanding shares of Class A and Class B stock of International Speedway Corp., with the intention of taking that track-operation company private.

If Sonic’s offer of $18 per share is accepted and approved, it would make Speedway Motorsports a privately held company. The offer must be approved by the holders of a majority of the common stock not owned by the Smith family.

SMI’s board has formed a special committee — comprised of Mark M. Gambill, James P. Holden and Tom E. Smith — to consider the Sonic offer.

Of note, Tom E. Smith is not related to Bruton Smith or his family.

Sonic Financial Corp. spelled out reasoning for making its offer in a letter to the SMI Board of Directors.

“As you know, NASCAR racing has faced several challenges in recent years, and the company has been impacted by these challenges,” read the letter. “NASCAR has indicated the sport would benefit from structural change.”

In addition to the approval of a majority of the common stockholders, a special committee of independent and disinterested directors must also approve the sale of stock.

SMI will continue to operate as it has in the past until both conditions are met.

“The company cautions stockholders and others considering trading in its securities that the Board has only received the non-binding proposal letter from Sonic Financial, and no decisions have been made by the Special Committee with respect to the company’s response to the proposal,” read an SMI release.

“There can be no assurance that any definitive offer will be made, that any agreement will be executed or that this or any other transaction will be approved or consummated.”