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Management changes not linked to future Supercars sale

Tom Howard

Monday 12th August, 2019 - 6:00am

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Supercars is looking to strengthen its position for the future

Recent appointments to the Supercars management team are designed to help grow the business and not prepare the championship for a future sale, according to CEO Sean Seamer.  

The Supercars board welcomed a new face last month with former Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti taking up an independent director position, while marketing chief John Casey has returned to the company to occupy a key strategic role.

Borghetti joins the board alongside Peter Wiggs from the championship’s majority shareholder Archer Capital and series team owners Brad Jones (Brad Jones Racing) and Rod Nash (Tickford Racing).

The appointments arrive as Supercars readies itself for its critical Next Generation rule package that is expected to be introduced in 2021.

It also comes while the championship’s majority shareholder Archer Capital continues the process of selling its assets which, according to the Australian Financial Review, will take place over five-year period.

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.

It enlisted the services of investment bank UBS to sell the category in 2017, 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.

However, Speedcafe.com understands that interest in Supercars has emerged with the Australian Racing Group, TCR Australia promoters, tabling an unsuccessful bid earlier this year.

Supercars boss Seamer is adamant the championship is not readying itself for a sale.

Although the recent appointments suggest the series is attempting to ensure the business is best placed for the future.

“I made a recommendation to the board that we consider John Borghetti for two reasons,” Seamer told Speedcafe.com.

“One, he’s an extremely strong and credentialed businessman that understands tourism, understands events, and (two) he’s also a very, very passionate motorsport guy.

“But people don’t know that about them.

“I recommended that we bring him in because I truly believe he can help me and the leadership team and the rest of the board grow the business for three to five years.

“It’s not about a preparation for an Archer exit. This is a long term strategic plan.”

Meanwhile, Seamer has further clarified the role Casey will take up, in what will be his third spell at Supercars after leaving the company earlier this year for a brief stint at Foxtel.

The former marketing chief has been charged to help Supercars usher in its Next Generation technical package.

“We never really wanted him to go, but we knew that the team that we now had under him didn’t need him to stay, or didn’t need him to come back in a chief marketing and sales role,” Seamer added.

“So he’s come back in a chief strategic role, which is very much about the future. He’s entirely focused on the future, not today.

“That (means) looking at manufacturer and engines, working really closely with Adrian Burgess (Head of Motorsport) and the motorsport department to craft that, and managing manufacturer relationships.”

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