SBD/July 17, 2012/Finance

Chartwell Investments Will Sell Its Minority Stake In Richard Childress Racing

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Richard Childress Racing yesterday announced that minority owner Chartwell Investments plans to sell its stake in the NASCAR team. Chartwell, a private equity firm that invested in RCR in '03, has hired Joe Ravitch's Raine Group to assist in finding a buyer for its stake in the team. RCR Owner Richard Childress will have a say in who replaces Chartwell as an investor. In a statement explaining Chartwell's decision, Childress said, "Like any private equity business, Chartwell has a duty to its investors to return capital and maximize profits in a reasonable timeframe. With my support, they have determined that now is an appropriate time to exit their investment in RCR. Chartwell has been a great partner and I will always be appreciative of our partnership." RCR COO Torrey Gallida said that there is no timeline for finding a new partner. The focus, instead, is on finding the right partner. Childress said he doesn't expect the change in minority ownership to impact the organization's performance. Chartwell has a history of investing in family-owned businesses. The firm was the first outside group to invest in a NASCAR team. Fenway Sports Group, [former Gillett Evernham Motorsports Owner] George Gillett and others followed. Through its ownership stake, Chartwell helped RCR evolve its business and put more emphasis on financial performance. Like most private equity firms, Chartwell typically looks to improve an organization's financial performance and then sell after four to six years. It held its RCR stake longer because of NASCAR's downturn during the recession.
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