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Nascar announces $2bn merger with International Speedway Corp

Nascar has entered into a merger agreement with International Speedway Corp (ISC), in a $2bn (€1.8bn) deal which is expected to close this year.

ISC owns 12 tracks where Nascar operates, including the Daytona International Speedway and the Talladega Superspeedway.

Nascar has struggled with declining attendances and TV viewership in recent years and the ISC deal makes sense for the France family, which runs the stock-car racing series, for a number of reasons.

It allows the publicly-traded ISC to be turned into a private company and put under the Nascar umbrella, which would enable more long-term strategic moves without having to answer to investors. It also gives the France family the ability to make decisions quicker, such as radically changing its schedule, which has been mooted for 2021.

Notably, the merger also makes a potential sale of Nascar assets more likely. Last year reports emerged that the France family was looking to sell the series.

ISC, meanwhile, earlier this year signed a large-scale ticketing deal with Major League Baseball-owned Tickets.com, a move designed in part to address the ongoing attendance issues and bring more ticketing innovation to motorsports.