Petty Holdings, a portfolio company of Boston Ventures, has merged with Gillett Evernham Motorsports to form Richard Petty Motorsports. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which combines the Richard Petty #43 and #44 race team cars with with GEM’s team roster. The transaction does not include the Richard Petty Driving Experience, which Boston Ventures and Richard Petty will continue to own via a separate entity.
Boston Ventures, a leading middle market private equity firm that invests in the media, information and publishing, entertainment, and communications sectors, today announced that through Petty Holdings it has completed the combination of its Richard Petty racing organization with Gillett Evernham Motorsports (GEM) to form Richard Petty Motorsports.
This transaction combines the iconic Richard Petty #43 and #44 race team cars with GEM’s impressive team roster and creates one of the leading organizations in competitive motorsports. Richard Petty will receive a significant stake in the new Richard Petty Motorsports and Richard Petty and Petty Holdings will each hold a seat on the new company’s Board of Directors.
The racing team transaction does not include the Richard Petty Driving Experience (RPDE). Boston Ventures and Richard Petty will continue to maintain their ownership of the separate entity RPDE, a motorsports entertainment company which is the world’s leading provider of authentic NASCAR-style stock car driving and riding experiences. RPDE also provides safe driving, mobile marketing, auto manufacturer ride and drive programs, and production services for the commercial and film industry. Richard Petty will continue his involvement with Petty Holdings, RPDE and the expanded Richard Petty Motorsports racing team to assist in building those organizations. David Zucker will continue as CEO of Petty Holdings, and Brian Flynn will remain CEO of RPDE. Petty Holdings will also continue to retain ownership of Richard Petty intellectual property and the Petty brand outside of competitive motorsports.
Barry Baker, a Managing Director of Boston Ventures, stated, “When we made this investment in 2008 we knew that in order to be competitive in NASCAR today you needed to field a multi-car team for the obvious reasons, including sharing resources, information, and capital for ongoing research and development. Toward the end of the 2008 season, a lot of teams approached us as potential partners because of the Richard Petty brand and the resources Boston Ventures can bring to the table. Richard and Boston Ventures chose to partner with George Gillett and his family because everything about them is first class. Needless to say, we are very pleased that the Petty racing organization is joining forces with GEM and we are excited about the 2009 season.
Andrew C. Davis, a Managing Director of Boston Ventures, said, “This combination with a proven and successful NASCAR organization greatly enhances the competitiveness of the new organization. We believe this transaction will give us the best chance of bringing Richard Petty back to victory lane and his former glory which is what NASCAR fans want most of all. With respect to the Richard Petty Driving Experience, it is an out of home entertainment asset, an investment sector with which we are very familiar, and it continues to demonstrate tremendous potential. In 2008 RPDE operated more than 3,000 event dates, with over 100,000 participants at 24 tracks around the country. We look forward to focusing our efforts on this segment of the business with renewed marketing initiatives as well as new concepts to enhance the ‘theme park’ experience.”
About Boston Ventures
Boston Ventures is one of the oldest and most experienced media and communications focused private equity firms in North America. Since its founding in 1983, the firm has invested nearly $2.5 billion in over 70 companies, actively targeting investments in the media, information and publishing, entertainment, and communications industries. For more information, please visit www.bostonventures.com.