RACE to decide on ARG purchase this month

Racing Australia Consolidated Enterprises, the owner of Supercars, will decide this month if it wants to proceed with the purchase of Australian Racing Group.

RACE to decide on ARG purchase this month
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RACE purchased Supercars in its entirety last year when it successfully bid for the 65 per cent owned by Archer Capital, and then took control of the 35 per cent owned collectively by the teams.

It has now come to light that as part of the deal, RACE has an option to buy out ARG, which is seen as both a rival promoter to Supercars but also part of RACE.

ARG owns and runs a number of categories such as TCR Australia, S5000, Trans Am, GT World Challenge Australia and Touring Car Masters.

It also promotes the SpeedSeries with Motorsport Australia and owns and runs the Bathurst 6 Hour and Bathurst International events.

ARG co-owners Garry and Barry Rogers, and Brian Boyd, were late additions to the RACE consortium during the bidding process and between them ended up with around 30 per cent of the RACE shares.

That shareholding was often seen as an ARG property, however it has today been clarified that they were individually owned by the Rogers family and Boyd, and never by ARG itself.

That clarification came due to Boyd selling his shares, which are believed to be been taken over by an existing shareholder, likely investment firm Henslow.

RACE has since released a statement on behalf of chairman Barclay Nettlefold addressing both the sale of Boyd's shares, and providing an update on the potential buy-out of ARG.

According to the statement, a decision on ARG will be made this month.

“In the normal course of business shareholders buy and sell shares," said Nettlefold.

“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.

“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 finalise any recommendation this month.”

Relations between ARG and Supercars have been strained recently due to a number of factors.

One has been a lack of cohesion between Supercars and the ARG suite of categories, which is thought to have been a driving factor for the Rogers family and Boyd to buy into RACE in the first place.

That was highlighted when Triple Eight recently banned Shane van Gisbergen from racing in Trans Am, which was understood to have come after pressure from Supercars.

The Rogers were also publicly critical of the RACE Board's recent rejection of an overseas takeover bid from Belgian media company FanTech.

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