Supercars confirms category is up for sale

Tom Howard

Wednesday 17th May, 2017 - 12:12pm

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The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship is up for sale

Supercars has confirmed that major stake holder Archer Capital has formally begun the process of selling Australia’s premier race series.

The procedure started earlier this year with the Sydney-based private equity firm, which owns a 65 percent stake, enlisting investment bank UBS to take the lead on exploring prospective buyers.

It is believed UBS has made several presentations to interested parties this month.

Speedcafe.com understands that interested parties are expected to table non-binding indicative bids by tomorrow’s deadline, before further talks can begin, if offers are deemed acceptable by Archer Capital.

A News Ltd story has claimed there are five corporations including News Corp Australia, Supercars former owners Sports Entertainment Limited and TEG, owners of Ticketek, have registered an interest in purchasing the sport.

The process could take several months while there is no guarantee the sport will be sold.

Archer Capital has held its controlling stake in the business since 2011 with the organisation co-owning the business alongside Supercars’ 26 Racing Entitlement Contract (REC) holders.

Supercars teams have been informed of the process for some time and are closely monitoring the situation.

All REC holders have agreed for an independent firm to be appointed to oversee the possible sale while offering advice.

Any sale would effectively require the support of Supercars REC holders, however there remains the prospect of the teams buying back a controlling stake.

The paddock is populated by a number of influential entrepreneurs capable of tabling such a bid, including American businessman Roger Penske (Owner of DJR Team Penske) and Triple Eight owner Roland Dane, Walkinshaw Racing boss Ryan Walkinshaw and Rusty French (Prodrive).

Supercars CEO James Warburton says the sport will continue to focus on continuing its growth.

“Any sale process is entirely a matter for the shareholders,” said Warburton in a statement provided to Supercars.com.

“Our focus is the continued growth of a thriving business, renowned international motorsport category and tier one Australian mainstream sport; and realising our 2025 vision.”

The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship reconvenes this weekend at the Winton Super Sprint.

Speedcafe.com has been established to provide a daily motorsport news service to the industry and fans in Australia and internationally.

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