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Rugby league team Broncos one of final three Supercars bids

National Rugby League team the Brisbane Broncos, in partnership with an existing consortium, is one of three bidders left in the running to buy Supercars.

James Courtney, Tickford Racing Ford

Edge Photographics

According to paddock speculation the National Rugby League squad is fronting a late bid from News Corp to buy Archer Capital out of its 65 per cent share in the Aussie touring car category.

News of the Bronco's unexpected involvement in the bidding for Supercars emerged earlier this week, their pitch rumoured to be driven, and funded, by majority owner News Corp.

There is an existing link between News Corp and Supercars, with Fox Sports the primary broadcaster of the Australian touring car series.

Autosport understands the Broncos/News Corp bid is in partnership with the consortium involving the likes of Peter Adderton, Alan Gow and Mick Doohan that's been an on again, off again fixture throughout the sale process.

The consortium's earlier bids were rumoured to be knocked back, however rather than being out of the running, as some sources indicated, its major players are heavily involved in this News Corp tie-up.

The latest iteration of the consortium's bid is well and truly in the running too, with just three parties understood to have made it to the due diligence stage.

Along with the Broncos/News Corp-related bid, there's also the Mark Skaife-led bid that's backed by TLA Worldwide/TGI Sport.

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That bid is regarded by many in the industry as the favourite to secure the 65 per cent stake in the business currently on offer from Archer Capital.

There are motor racing links throughout that Skaife/TLA bid; TLA Worldwide CEO Craig Kelly was once the CEO of the Holden Racing Team, while George Pyne, founder of TLA's parent company Bruin Capital, is a former NASCAR COO.

The other contender left in the mix is Australian Racing Group, which currently owns and promotes a suite of categories that includes TCR Australia, S5000, Trans Am, GT World Challenge Australia and Touring Car Masters.

Those categories mostly run on the Motorsport Australia Championships bill, however the potential acquisition of Supercars would open the door for them to form what would be an undoubtedly impressive undercard at the biggest race meetings in the country.

It could potentially also fast-track the return on investment in the likes of TCR and S5000, where ARG has had a financial hand in ensuring there have been cars on the grids.

It's not entirely clear when the winning bidder from the remaining three will be picked, however it's expected that the sale will be ratified before the Bathurst 1000 later this year.

Archer Capital paid $137 million for its 65 per cent stake in Supercars back in 2011.

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