Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Updated: July 10, 11:44 PM ET
DEI says it is not presently seeking buyer
By Marty Smith
Dale Earnhardt Inc. is not for sale -- right now.
DEI president Max Siegel on Tuesday refuted an Internet report that company owner Teresa Earnhardt had commissioned investment banking firm Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. to locate a buyer or financial investment partner.
"We have not engaged Bear, Stearns or Goldman Sachs or anyone else," Siegel said. "We are contacted all the time by outside firms about getting involved in the sport.
"We are not for sale right now. Nothing is imminent."
A recent industry trend for Sprint Cup team owners is to collaborate with outside investment partners in the name of financial stability. Jack Roush partnered with John Henry's Fenway Sports Group. Michael Waltrip brought in Robert Kauffman. Ray Evernham sold majority ownership to George Gillett. Just last month Petty Enterprises, the industry staple since the sport's inception, sold majority ownership to Boston Ventures.
Is DEI next?
"Are we constantly weighing that as an option? Does that make sense? Quite frankly, we don't know," Siegel said. "Every team is looking for a way to bring in appropriate resources. Every single one.
"We haven't engaged anybody. People obviously approach us -- they're approaching everybody. We're looking to be around for a long time in future. We're feeling pretty damn good about where we're going, competitionwise."
Siegel was forced to approach his driving corps with assurance that the team is currently not for sale.
"I have assured them it's not true," Siegel said.
Marty Smith covers NASCAR racing for ESPN.com.