A week after calls were made to unify Australian motorsport, the ownership group behind Supercars has revealed that may soon come to fruition.
Supercars is owned by a consortium dubbed Racing Australia Consolidated Enterprises Ltd (RACE) which is made up of three main parties – QMS Media APAC CEO Barclay Nettlefold, investment advisory firm Henslow, and promoter the Australian Racing Group (ARG).
On Wednesday, it emerged ARG had sold part of its shareholding in RACE, prompting a response from RACE chairman Nettlefold.
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In it, I have detailed the possibility of buying ARG outright.
In the statement, Nettlefold said the promoter did not have shares in RACE – despite its confirmation last year specifically mentioning ARG among the ownership group – rather, the shares belonged to individuals who were part of ARG.
Although Nettlefold stopped short of naming them, it has been reported the shares were owned by property developer Brian Boyd of PAYCE, who is a co-founder of ARG.
ARG owned roughly 30 per cent of RACE prior to the sale, which is understood to have been to existing shareholders Henslow.
Garry Rogers Motorsport co-owner Barry Rogers owns the remaining ARG portion of the pie.
“In the normal course of business shareholders buy and sell shares,” Nettlefold said in a statement.
“I wish to note ARG as an entity does not have a corporate holding in RACE, however individual shareholders that may be regarded as related parties of ARG do hold shares.
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“A recent sale has been completed and the purchase of those shares has allowed for further consolidation in the shareholding of RACE.
“Regarding the potential sale of ARG to RACE as part of the initial RACE whole of sport strategy which is well documented, management and directors of Supercars and RACE continue to work through due diligence items in relation to a potential transaction and expect to finalize any recommendation this month.”
ARG had initially sought to buy the Supercars business on its own but consolidated its effort with Nettlefold and Henslow to form RACE.
RACE bought Supercars last year from Archer Capital and the existing teams.
In an interview with Wide World of Sports, Rogers said he had been disillusioned by the ownership group that he said had made false promises.
Rogers had been told there would be a greater presence of ARG categories at Supercars-run events.
However, that has not been the case. In the interview, Rogers threatened to abandon the ownership group if attitudes did not change.
Soon, RACE could end up owning ARG with a decision to be made by the end of August.
ARG owns several properties including the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series, S5000, Turtle Wax Trans Am Series, Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters, Australian V8 Touring Car Series (as Dunlop Super3 Series) and Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS.
It also promotes two events at Mount Panorama, the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour and Supercheap Auto Bathurst International as well as AWC Race Tasmania at Symmons Plains.
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