MARCH 3, 2011
Dutch buy 5% Williams stake
Dutch investment company Cyrte has bought 5% of Williams after 2.4 million shares in the British F1 team were offered on the Frankfurt stock exchange at €25 each.
Cyrte is led by Dutch personality John de Mol, 55, previously listed by Forbes among the world's richest 500, who made his fortune through TV production and media interests that included the Big Brother reality show. He was previously involved in F1 with Spyker and also owns shares in Manchester United.
"This investment sees Cyrte and Williams create a strategic partnership in which we will assist the team to further develop its potential in all commercial aspects of its business," said a Cyrte statement. "It will also afford Cyrte a platform from which to participate in the growth of Formula 1."
The Williams shares originally lost around 5% of their value when trading started but rallied and ended the opening day around 3.5% down. "I think it's all gone well," Williams chairman Adam Parr said, "It's not an easy moment to be born into the financial market but I felt from speaking with investors face to face over the last month that it would go well. It's exciting."
Williams is the first F1 team to float but commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone has said that with F1 one of the best global marketing platforms there is, others should consider following suit.