Supercars owner to close, sell investments

Archer Capital is the majority shareholder of Supercars

The private equity firm which owns the majority stake in Supercars has notified investors that it will begin to close down, resulting in the sale of existing assets.

Archer Capital, which also owns the parent company of Supercars sponsor Red Rooster, has cancelled new fundraising and will instead realise its eight existing assets.

According to the Australian Financial Review, it is believed that the process will take place over a period of five years, and coincides with the likely retirement of founding partner Peter Wiggs.

Wiggs currently sits on the Supercars board alongside new CEO Sean Seamer and team owners Brad Jones and Rod Nash.

Archer was established in 1997 and took on its current name in 2004.

In 2011, it took a 65 percent stake in Supercars in a deal which valued the business at $300 million, with teams owning the remaining 35 percent.

Last year it enlisted the services of investment bank UBS to sell the category, with a mid-May deadline for non-binding indicative bids.

That endeavour was shelved a month later, with bids understood to be below the reported $100 million asking price.

AFR quotes a letter from Archer managing directors Ben Frewin and Peter Gold to investors yesterday morning which states, “The Fund 5 investment period will finish in May and we have reached an important decision not to raise a sixth fund.

“Going forward Archer Capital will devote 100 per cent of its efforts to continue maximising the value of the $1.1 billion we have invested in the eight remaining portfolios companies in Archer Capital’s funds 4 and 5 and provide outstanding returns to investors.”

The firm had attempted to raise a new fund, for further investments, last year but that process was postponed and now cancelled altogether.

Reports suggest that investors were unwilling to provide funds in light of Wiggs’ impending retirement and the departure of other investment managers from Archer in recent years.

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