Gentilozzi: CART buyout progressing

Another crucial step in Open Wheel Racing Series' attempt to acquire CART is set to unfold in the next seven to 10 days, according to Paul Gentilozzi, one of three principals in the group

Gentilozzi: CART buyout progressing

Gentilozzi said Saturday at Miami that the proxy statement being drafted by OWRS to send to CART shareholders is in its final stage of approval. OWRS has offered 56 cents (31p) per outstanding share of stock.

"We have the final draft and within a week or so we'll send that proxy statement to the Securities and Exchange Commission for their review," Gentilozzi revealed. "That could take a week or it could take a month because they are a governmental entity. Then that package, in its entirety, goes to the stockholders for review and approval.

"That will include all of the disclosure of the company's current status and year-end projection. In it are also two 'fairness opinions' from Ernst & Young and Bear Stearns that are independent companies paid to give their view of the value of the stock."

Gentilozzi added that the stockholder vote could come as early as Halloween and as late as Thanksgiving. The vote will come in two stages - to enable and to approve the deal. In the second vote, the 22.9 percent of CART shares owned by OWRS through partner Gerald Forsythe will be removed from the equation.

"For the second vote, we're not going to vote Gerry's shares so it doesn't appear in any way that there is a thumb on the scale trying to make this deal happen," Gentilozzi said.

Meantime, sources confirmed that CART will issue a tentative 2004 schedule on Sunday in Miami that will contain 15 confirmed venues and five other potential venues but no specific dates. From that list, the definitive race schedule will be capped at 16 to 18 races. Gentilozzi added that he is confident that the revived Champ Car series will attract at least 18 cars.

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