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Archer Capital Buys Majority Stake in V8 Supercars Australia

May 17 (Bloomberg) -- Archer Capital, a private equity firm, agreed to buy a controlling stake in the V8 Supercars Australia auto-racing championship in a transaction that values the series at about A$300 million ($316 million).

Australian Motor Racing Partners Pty Ltd., funded by Sydney-based Archer, will take a 60 percent stake with the racing teams and management holding the remaining 40 percent, V8 Supercars said in a statement.

Archer Capital will take on “a moderate amount of debt” to become the majority owner of Australian motor sports’ premier series, said Australian Motor Racing Partners Director Andrew Gray. Sports and Entertainment Ltd. had held a 25 percent share in the sport and the teams the other 75 percent.

“We are long-term investors and we’re patient investors,” Gray said at a news conference in Sydney broadcast on the V8 Supercars website. “The business has grown exponentially over the last decade. There’s a lot of growth to come.”

V8 Supercars Chairman Tony Cochrane will continue in the role and oversee the day-to-day management of the sport, which takes in races in Australia, Abu Dhabi and New Zealand and attracted an average of 126,000 trackside spectators per race in 2010. The sport’s domestic television deal with Seven Group Holdings Ltd.’s Seven Network expires at the end of 2012.

Cochrane said the new ownership structure will enable V8 Supercars to proceed with plans to add two to three new events at international venues from 2013.

“This gives us a strong foundation to move on,” Cochrane said. “There will be more racing out of this decision today.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Baynes in Sydney at dbaynes@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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