THE Australian Racing Group has sold a significant portion of its shares in the RACE consortium which owns Supercars.
It’s been a turbulent period for the Barclay Nettlefold-led RACE, with ARG powerbrokers publicly expressing frustrations over the rejection of a recent buyout bid from European firm FanTech.
RACE only came into power late last year with Nettlefold and ARG joining forces – having initially made separate bids – along with investment company Henslow.
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For months, there have been murmurs of cash flow issues, and at least one capital raise has been on the cards.
Discontented by a supposed unwillingness to have the nation’s various motorsport categories work together, ARG had somewhat threatened to depart the RACE scene and V8 Sleuth can now reveal that has indeed happened in part.
“I can confirm that ARG has sold a significant holding in RACE but not its entire holding,” ARG’s Barry Rogers told V8 Sleuth.
It’s understood the sale accounts for approximately half of ARG’s stake, which is believed to have started as seven of the 25 million shares in RACE.
ARG is co-owned by the Rogers family and businessman Brian Boyd. It’s understood Boyd has divested himself of his RACE shares while the Rogers retain theirs.
A buyer has not been confirmed, but Henslow is widely thought to be the most likely candidate, adding to its existing shareholding.
Supercars is yet to comment on the latest development.
Rogers did not rule out selling the remaining ARG shares in RACE.
“We’ll consider that position as we move forward,” he said.
Complicating matters is a looming deadline on RACE’s option to buy out ARG.
That factor was outlined in the initial agreement as a way to fully align the two parties.
ARG’s relationship within Supercars has clearly remained fractious, however, even with it having skin in the game.
The handling of FanTech’s approach seemed to be the straw which broke the camel’s back, with allegations of proper process not being followed.
V8 Sleuth understands Nettlefold addressed Supercars team owners during the course of the championship’s recent visit to The Bend Motorsport Park.