New potential Supercars buyer surfaces

Wednesday 11th January, 2017

5:00am

Author: Gordon Lomas ©

Supercars majority owner Archer Capital is believed to be talking to several prospective buyers.

Buying a 60 percent stake in the sport for an industry-rocking $300 million six years ago, the Sydney-based private equity company has been fishing around to offload its investment in the sport for some time.

Any sale would be a complex transaction with approximately 60 percent held by Archer, 5 percent by management and outside parties and 35 percent by the teams.

It is believed that whatever offer is presented to Archer Capital for their holding, it must be also offered to the 26 REC (Racing Entitlements Contract) holders based on percentages owned.

The teams can then either accept or reject the offer.

Any purchase would also require negotiation and a plan which would outline the teams’ participation moving forward.

A fresh name surfaced recently with the Australian Financial Review naming London-based Kiwi businessman Bart Campbell as a figure who has shown interest.

Campbell purchased the Melbourne Storm NRL club in 2013 off Rupert Murdoch and was the co-founder of TLA Worldwide which is a sports marketing and management company with Major League Baseball as its primary interest.

TLA has offices in London, New York, Southern California and Melbourne, the latter making it strategically viable to become custodian of Supercars.

Attempts by Speedcafe.com to contact Archer Capital for comment were unsuccessful.

Its board has to agree on whether the company pushes ahead with any sale process.

Campbell has come a long way since his days as a practicing sports and commercial lawyer.

He completed an Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 2010, a year after completing a Masters in Commercial Law at Auckland University.

Campbell outlines in a LinkedIn profile that he has a ‘wide ranging and global network with experience in combining capital investment with growing sports businesses.

Archer Capital chief executive Peter Wiggs is the current chairman of several of the company’s investments including Supercars.

In recent years, Supercars chief executive James Warburton has been forced to fend off media reports that he was departing the sport.

Just last month Warburton was linked to a move back to television however he flatly denied any such plan when approached by Speedcafe.com.

Warburton has shown tenacity through one of Supercars most turbulent times, restoring decent profitability amid the category entering the middle part of its $241 million broadcast rights deal with Foxtel and Network Ten.