SUPERCARS officially has a new owner with Racing Australia Consolidated Enterprises (RACE) completing its purchase from Archer Capital and the championship’s teams.
The consortium of private investors was announced in late October as the successful bidder after a competitive tender process launched by Archer mid-year.
A statement from Supercars confirmed that RACE now owns 100 percent of the company, acquiring Archer’s majority share plus the teams’ 35 percent stake.
RACE consortium was headed by Melbourne-based entrepreneur Barclay Nettlefold, having merged the bids of TLA Worldwide, the sports marketing company owned by global sports media and technology group TGI Sport, Henslow and the Australian Racing Group.
Nettlefold will serve as the new chairman of Supercars in addition to his role as the chairman of RACE, while the composition of Supercars’ new board will be announced in coming weeks.
Nettlefold will be on the ground in his new role at next weekend’s Repco Bathurst 1000.
“I have a strong passion for sport business acceleration, leading the vision and team for success,” Nettlefold said.
“I look forward to working closely with Sean and the existing Supercars’ management team to drive a successful outcome for shareholders, partners and fans.
“RACE is committed to the growth of the sport and providing a platform for the Teams to concentrate on racing and what they love.”
With the announcement of the sale comes confirmation that Sean Seamer will remain in the role of CEO under the new owners into 2022, as will the current Supercars management team.
“Supercars has been a success story of growth since its inception in 1997, growing to become Australasia’s number one motorsport category, watched by millions around the world,” Seamer said.
“It would not have happened had it not been for the unwavering professionalism, sporting brilliance and sheer guts of the teams.
“We thank Archer Capital for being pivotal in the growth of Supercars over recent years, overseeing all commercial matters including management of media rights and sponsorships, including the most recent naming rights partnership with Repco and five-year broadcast agreement with Fox Sports and the Seven Network worth more than $200 million.
“We welcome RACE to the Supercars family and are excited for the future that is in store for our sport.”
The Supercars Commission will also remain in place, continuing in its role as an advisory body focused on racing rules, regulations and formats, with new commission members to be appointed in January.
The announcement brings an end to Archer’s decade of ownership of Supercars.
The private equity firm paid $190 million to become the majority owner of the category in 2011 but had looked at selling its stake on several occasions in recent years.
“It has been a fantastic and exciting ten-year journey to date, and this new ownership structure and investment are an exceptional outcome for everyone who loves this sport,” Archer’s Peter Wiggs, outgoing Supercars Chairman, said.
“Everyone at Supercars should be immensely proud of what we have achieved and the challenges we have overcome, particularly in recent years.
“I see the coming years as the most exciting and most dynamic in Supercars’ history and look forward to watching on as a fan in the future.”