Archer Capital sells majority stake in Supercars

Supercars will have a new owner by the end of the year. Picture: Mark Horsburgh

Archer Capital’s long-awaited sale of its majority stake in Supercars to Racing Australia Consolidated Enterprises Ltd (RACE) has finally been confirmed.

RACE is led by TGI Sport chairman Barclay Nettlefold along with motor racing promoter the Australian Racing Group and independent advisory firm Henslow.

Although not explicitly named in Supercars’ release, TLA Worldwide is known to have involvement in the deal.

It should also be noted the announcement only discusses Archer Capital’s circa 65 percent stake, despite the fact RACE will also acquire the 35 percent collectively owned by Supercars’ teams.

“Supercars, with the support of Archer, has done an amazing job navigating the past two years,” said Nettlefold.

“The RACE board and I look forward to combining our collective resources, heralding an exciting new era in the growth of a sport that all Australians love.”

In a statement, Supercars confirmed the transition of the shareholding will be completed by the close of 2021.

RACE has already started engaging in planning for 2022 with Archer Capital and management.

The announcement comes years after Supercars and Archer Capital chairman Peter Wiggs confirmed plans in 2017 to offload the business.

“We set out to find a new majority shareholder that would be able to build on the work that Archer and the management team have done over the past five years,” said Wiggs.

“The expertise that RACE has in sport, media, marketing and digital will enable just that.”

Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia driver Tim Miles of Miles Advisory Partners was tasked with the sale of Supercars, ironically a decade after it helped negotiate Archer Capital to buy it.

In the early phase of the sale process, several parties emerged as candidates.

Among them was Sam Shahin of the Peregrine Group via The Bend Motorsport Park, IMG which once owned Supercars in its infancy, and the France family behind NASCAR.

The main rival to the eventual winning bid was a consortium led by Boost Mobile owner Peter Adderton.

Norwell Motorplex owner Paul Morris, Pete Smith of SCT Logistics, MotoGP world champion Mick Doohan, and BTCC boss Alan Gow were part of that five-pronged effort.

Ultimately, they pulled out of the running after TLA/TGI/ARG bid was given first preference.

The various stakeholders in the winning bid bring knowhow from different backgrounds, albeit largely sports and media-oriented.

TGI Sport, which was established in 1997, hails itself as an infrastructure, technology and media rights business.

The business has global reach having worked with international sporting leagues and organisations including FIFA, UEFA, NBA, NHL, MotoGP as well as domestic organisations Rugby Australia, Football Federation Australia, and Cricket Australia.

TGI Sport spearhead Nettlefold is also CEO and managing director of affiliated company QMS Media, a position he has held since 2015.

Nettlefold is among those thought to be in the running to replace Wiggs as Supercars’ chairman.

Started in 2018, the Australian Racing Group is already well known to motorsport enthusiasts.

The promoter is responsible for TCR Australia, S5000, GT World Challenge Australia, Touring Car Masters, National Trans Am, and the Super3 Series and has major events including the Bathurst 6 Hour and Bathurst International in its cache.

The sale confirmation comes just a day before the Repco Supercars Championship gets back on track at Sydney Motorsport Park for the first of four successive events at the venue.

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