By Bryan Cross
Richard Petty Motorsports is trying to negotiate a deal that would help erase the debt that the company currently has.
ESPN.com reports that a source near the deal says the company needs signatures of 10 of the 11 banks directly involved in the debt.
George Gillett, the owner of Richard Petty Motorsports, said that the company has defaulted on a $90 million loan beginning in February. The loan is reportedly worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $70 million given with the intent that the banks would then allow the restructuring to occur.
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Gillett stated that the company will comeback strong.
“I don’t think we’ll just survive, we’ll thrive,” he stated.
This news comes as the top driver in the company Kasey Kahne agreed to a deal with rival Hendrick Motorsports that will put him in the No.5 car beginning in 2011.
“I know that he’s a helluva nice young man and I hope we can work something out,” Gillett said of the news the Kahne moved driving teams. “If we can’t life will continue. I’m sure he’ll go with a really good team and he’ll have a really good future.”
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In 2007, Gillett was the owner of Evernham Motorsports, but came together with Petty Enterprises in 2008. The company was then named Richard Petty Motorsports.
In spite of the report about the loan, Gillett stated the the racing team is making a profit and the recent debt is due to the struggling economy. The team lost their primary sponsor in Chrysler, and have since moved to the Ford company.
“When you look at some of the curveballs thrown at us they’re substantial,” Gillett remarked. “Yet we’ve overcome them. We’ve overcome the loss of all that revenue from sponsors and Chrysler.
“Based on everything I know our intention is to restructure the debt, enter into an agreement with banks and buy out the debt with new capital that our family would put into and end up with a company that may end up a few million in debt but end up with a company that is fundamentally debt-free,” he said.
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