First Equity Group, Inc. announced today that it has acquired through a new company, Skip Barber Racing School LLC, the assets of Skip Barber Racing School, Inc., of Lakeville, Connecticut, the world’s leading trainer of professional and amateur race car drivers from Sports Capital Partners. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Skip Barber Racing School is the established leader in key segments of the performance driver training business. Skip Barber is the world's largest automotive education and entertainment company. Started in 1975, the organization has trained winners of every major American racing championship. Additionally, the company has trained over one-third of the Indy 500 field since 1983 and one-fourth of the current Winston Cup grid. Its graduates include CART's all-time winningest driver Michael Andretti, BMW-Williams F1 pilot Juan Pablo Montoya and four-time Winston Cup Champion Jeff Gordon. Comprised of the Skip Barber Racing School, Dodge/Skip Barber Driving School, Skip Barber Race Series and the Barber Dodge Pro Series, the company conducts over 1000 driving and racing events annually. The company is also well-established in corporate, manufacturer, sponsorship and merchandising/licensing programs.
First Equity has had a long association with the Skip Barber Racing School. In addition to operating numerous corporate events in conjunction with Skip Barber over the last decade, Michael Culver, the cofounder of First Equity and Chairman of Skip Barber Racing School LLC, twice won the Master Series, Eastern division. First Racing, a wholly owned subsidiary of First Equity, had numerous podium finishes in the Motorola Cup North American Street Stock Championship in 1998, 1999 and 2000 as well as the Speedvision Cup, Street Stock Endurance in 1998.
Headquartered in Lakeville, Connecticut, Skip Barber Racing School LLC employs over 200 people out of four base locations at Lime Rock Park, Lime Rock, Connecticut; Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca, Monterrey, California; Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin; and Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida. The racing and driving schools, their core products, are offered at over 20 tracks nationwide, supported by a fleet of over 200 racecars, 110 production vehicles and 21 transporters. Earlier this year, the company aligned itself with CART (Championship Auto Racing Teams) as part of a progressive development ladder for young racers.
Aaron Hollander of First Equity and Chief Executive Officer of Skip Barber Racing School LLC said:“ We are very excited to be acquiring the Skip Barber Racing School. Auto racing is one of the largest and fastest-growing sports in the world. The Company has played an integral role in the growth of the industry by providing the highest-quality driving programs and the most diverse product offerings. We plan to continue to grow the business in its current markets as well as expand into new product offerings.”
Established in 1985 and based in Westport, Connecticut, First Equity Group, Inc. has interests in a number of transportation-related businesses. These include, in addition to Skip Barber Racing School LLC, First Aviation Services, Inc. (NASD: FAVS), a leader in logistics and distribution serving the aerospace industry; Imtek, the leading independent company serving the Motor Club industry; and First Equity Development, the largest investment bank focused on the aerospace and defense industry. First Equity also operates the successful First Racing Team.