CART losses $34.4

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The American CART racing series reported third-quarter losses of $34.4 million on Thursday, and said if its proposed sale to the new Open Wheel Racing group falls through it probably would liquidate its remaining assets and go out of business.

Open Wheel Racing, formed by three CART team owners, offered $7.4 million - about 56 cents a share - in August for all the outstanding stock of the financially troubled Championship Auto Racing Teams.

The deal is expected to be finalized by December, when shareholders vote on the purchase that would lead to the company's de-listing from the New York Stock Exchange.

"If the proposed merger with Open Wheel is not completed for any reason, and if no strategic transaction that is an alternative to the merger is available to us at that time, it is expected that we will be required immediately to cease our operations, wind up our affairs and seek to liquidate our remaining assets," CART said in its third-quarter report.

No other proposal besides the one from Open Wheel is being considered, CART said.

In the third-quarter report, CART listed $18.2 million in revenues - mostly from sanction and race promotion fees - for the three months ending Sept. 30. The revenues totaled $18.5 million in the same period last year.

Expenses, however, rose from $32.2 million last year to $53.1 million, with the biggest jump coming in race distributions.

For the first nine months of 2003, CART had net losses of $77.9 million, compared with $13.5 million for the same period a year ago. (from: Herald Tribune)