Friday, March 22, 2013

IMS Brings Back Tony George To Defuse Rumors Of Planned Sale

As I've discussed previously, it's no secret that the Hulman-George family is working on a succession plan for the family's businesses with the 78-year old Mary Hulman-George not getting any younger and the removal of her only son from any management role in the organization at the insistence of his sisters, who had grown increasingly alarmed that his mismanagement of the IMS had squandered hundreds of millions of dollars and was putting their inheritance at risk. The Mark Miles-inspired plan to convince Indiana lawmakers to go along with state financing of up to $100 million in improvements at the IMS has brought to light concerns first raised on this blog that Miles' end game is simply a way of inflating the value of the race track facilities in preparation for a sale to outside investors.

During a hearing this week before the House Ways & Means Committee, Miles insisted the family has no plans to sell the IMS, but he can't deny there is no viable family member ready to step into a serious role managing the family's business affairs with Tony George out of the picture. Miles' assurances weren't enough for the Committee's chairman, State Rep. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville), who said he wants to see language amended into the bill that would require the IMS to repay at least some of the state-funded improvements in the event of a sale. That's not what Miles wanted to hear. True to his manipulative nature, Miles showed another card he had up his sleeve. The IMS announced tonight that Tony is back in the picture as a member of Hulman & Co.'s board of directors. Fox59 News reports:
The stay away from the Board of Directors of Hulman and Company lasted just a few months for Tony George.
On Friday night the company announced that George was added to the Board of Directors of the company.
George had resigned from the board in October of 20112 citing an “appearance of a conflict of interest.” Many believe that was due to George’s attempt to acquire IndyCar from the company but nothing has yet to come of those efforts.
Along with the addition of George, Hulman and Company re-elected the ten members who were on the board last year.
George has a long history with the company having served as it’s President and CEO from 1989-2009, overseeing the Indianapolis Motor Speedway along with IndyCar.
Notwithstanding Miles' latest handiwork at creating false imagery, Brown's initial instincts are spot on. He needs to hold the IMS' feet to the fire and insist on recovery of the state investment if the family simply turns around and sells the IMS after using the money to increase the bottom-line value of their largest asset. That's the least lawmakers owe to the state's taxpayers if they're going to give their approval to this unprecedented investment of public funds in a privately-owned sports facility.

1 comment:

Unigov said...

What Tim Brown should do is locate the constitutional foundation for the government handing money to a private corporation.

The State cannot loan IMS the $100 million, because that's barred by the state constitution.