Boston Ventures Management Inc., a middle-market private equity firm, is roaring along the fast lane with its sixth investment since closing the $435 million Boston Ventures LP VII in December.
The Boston-based firm just made a control investment in two companies formerly wholly owned by NASCAR racing legend Richard Petty and his family: Petty Enterprises and the Richard Petty Driving Experience.
Boston Ventures will be merging the companies, which will be controlled by a single board of directors, said Andy Davis, managing director of Boston Ventures. The private equity firm will have four seats on the board; the Petty family will have three. Mr. Davis is keeping the transaction size and the Boston Ventures exact ownership stake in the newly merged company under the hood. All he would say is that Boston's stake is substantial.
The Petty companies have been family owned since 1949 when the first iteration of Petty Enterprises was formed by Lee Petty, Richard Petty's father, a NASCAR pioneer and one of its first superstars.
It was an emotional decision for the company, bringing in a new investor, Mr. Davis said.
They were looking for capital to bring the race team to its former glory, he said. A Petty team has not won a NASCAR race since 1999.
In addition to the NASCAR teams that were owned through Petty Enterprises, the newly minted Petty Holdings will own the Petty Driving Experience, which allows fans to drive or ride in a NASCAR-style stock car.
In one of the first moves since the purchase, Boston Ventures brought in a professional chief executive officer to lead the company, David F. Zucker, former executive vice president at ESPN. Richard Petty will be chairman emeritus. Arleen Jacobius