CART moves closer to privatisation

Champ Car sanctioning body CART issued a statement on Sunday afternoon confirming that negotiations continue in an effort to privatise the company. The CART Board of Directors had a special meeting Saturday in New York and directed company management to continue working with Open Wheel Racing Series LLC towards an acquisition.

CART moves closer to privatisation

OWRS is the group headed by Champ Car team owners Gerald Forsythe, Kevin Kalkhoven and Paul Gentilozzi, with additional backing from Toyota/Atlantic team owner Carl Russo and the Motorock concert promotion company. OWRS representatives were not present at Saturday's meeting in New York, where the board discussed OWRS' 50-cent a share (US $7.4 million) offer to acquire the company.

"At an all day meeting of the CART Board of Directors on Saturday, management was given very clear direction to continue its negotiations with Open Wheel Racing Series and seek to conclude those negotiations as quickly as possible so that everyone clearly understands the future direction of the company," stated CART President and CEO Chris Pook, who is part of the six-man CART board.

On Sunday at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Kalkhoven confirmed that OWRS is proceeding with its acquisition attempt. "Things are progressing, forward," he said. "The Board has three options. They can say 'No,' 'Yes,' or 'Yes, but...' Right now we're at 'Yes, but...'

"Hopefully the board will make a decision soon, they'll put a press release out and it will be positive. But those are three hopefullys."

The process could be slowed by Jon Vannini, a part-time racer who has competed in CART's Barber Dodge Pro Series and owns around 9 percent of CART's outstanding public shares. Vannini is reportedly considering starting legal action against CART based on what he perceives as mismanagement of the company, causing the share value to plummet.

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