Penske Corp. to Acquire Hulman & Co., Including Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Indianapolis Motor Speedway was built in 1909 and today has a permanent seating capacity exceeding 235,000 people. (Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Motor Speedway)

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MICH. AND TERRE HAUTE, IND. — Global trucking and logistics firm Penske Corp. has agreed to purchase Hulman & Co., a private company that owns Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the world-famous racetrack that hosts the Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400 racing events. The acquisition price was not disclosed.

Situated on more than 1,000 acres in Speedway, Ind., the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was built in 1909 and today has a permanent seating capacity exceeding 235,000 people. When infield seating is added, more than 400,000 people can view the various racing events held at the 2.5-mile oval track. According to Hulman, which has owned the venue since 1945, it’s the world’s largest spectator sporting facility.

“The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been the centerpiece and the cathedral of motorsports since 1909 and the Hulman-George family has proudly served as the steward of this great institution for more than 70 years,” says Tony George, chairman of Hulman & Co., a family-owned company based in Terre Haute. “Now, we are honored to pass the torch to Roger Penske and Penske Corp. There is no one more capable and qualified than Roger and his organization to lead the sport of IndyCar racing and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway into the future.”

The venue has had four owners in its lifespan, now including Penske Entertainment Corp., a subsidiary of Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based Penske Corp.

Penske’s track record of interest in racing venues is long. The company purchased the Michigan International Speedway in 1973 has also owned and/or operated the Grand Prix of Cleveland, Nazareth Speedway and California Speedway over the years. The company has also invested in North Carolina Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway and now promotes and operates the Detroit Grand Prix, a race that is held annually at Belle Isle Park.

Penske’s racing division, Team Penske, has been competing internationally for more than 50 years. To date, Team Penske has won the Indianapolis 500 race 18 times, making the team the most successful in the race’s 104-year history (the race was suspended during World War II).

“My passion for racing began at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1951 when I attended the Indianapolis 500 with my father,” says Roger Penske, who went onto become a professional race driver himself.

In addition to the racing venue, Penske’s acquisition of Hulman includes IndyCar and IMS Productions. IndyCar is the Indianapolis-based sanctioning body for the NTT IndyCar Series, dubbed the world’s fastest open-wheel racing series. IMS Productions is the media and technology partner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“I want to thank Hulman & Co. for the opportunity to build on this legacy, and it will be an honor for Penske Corp. to help lead these great institutions forward into a new era,” says Penske.

The transaction will close following government approvals and other customary closing conditions. The Indianapolis Business Journal reports the deal is expected to close in January 2020. Allen & Co. LLC was Hulman’s financial advisor in the transaction, and Ice Miller LLP provided legal counsel.

Penske Corp. manages businesses with consolidated revenues of more than $32 billion, operating more than 3,200 locations and employing more than 64,000 people worldwide.

— John Nelson

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