AUGUST 9, 2002
CART sinks a little further
The need for Jacques Villeneuve to sign for Players Forsythe Racing becomes more acute by the day as the share price of Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. sinks on the Wall Street Stock Exchange. Three months ago the stock, once valued at around $30, was down to $17 and in recent days it has slipped from the $8 bracket to close last night at $5.26, having rebounded from a low during the day of $5.09. This means that the entire business is now valued at only $77m. This is alarming in that the company's books show that it has $103m in cash in its bank accounts. The reason that the price has not been hiked by investors looking to buy what amounts to more than they would be investing is that the shares are now controlled by a small number of individuals who seem committed to rebuilding the championship. It is possible that there may soon be an attempt by these shareholders to take the company private again - which would not now cost very much money. The problem is that confidence is sagging with the share price and so the sport needs something (or someone) to boost interest and confidence in the sport. With teams moving to IRL and drivers going to NASCAR it has all been bad news for CART in recent weeks and it needs something like the signing of Villeneuve to put the series back on track.
And with all that cash in the bank...