NOVEMBER 27, 2001
Al Waleed goes after Prost again
WITH Prost Grand Prix on the ropes at the moment, it is no surprise to learn that Prince Al Waleed is back in the picture and is planning to make a bid for the team which he will put to the administrator. According to reports on Saudi Arabian television the deal is a "take-it-or-leave-it" offer for the whole operation.
There has been speculation that the Prince would use the team to promote his many other business interests.
Prince Al Waleed was a Williams sponsor back in the early 1980s when a variety of Arab companies were convinced to become involved in F1. This resulted in TAG's interest in the sport and there is no doubt that the link between Al Waleed and Prost owes something to McLaren. Al Waleed's son Prince Khalid al Waleed visited several races last year and spent as much time with McLaren as he did with Prost.
The young Prince is the deputy-chairman of his father's Kingdom Holding Company empire which is based on some of the finest hotels around the globe. He owns the United Saudi Bank and has shares in Citibank, Kirch, Disneyland Paris, the Canary Wharf development in London, Saks Fifth Avenue, NewsCorp, Netscape, Apple Computer, Motorola, Daewoo and Proton.
Al Waleed has long specialized in buying troubled companies and rebuilding them. Prost Grand Prix would thus be a good choice if the deal on offer is sufficiently attractive to the team's legal administrator Maitre Franck Michel.
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