DECEMBER 27, 2001
What did Richards pay for BAR?
THE big question being discussed in Formula 1 circles at the moment is how much Prodrive will have agreed to pay to buy out the partners in British American Racing. The price is important as it will give an indication of the going rate for F1 teams - which is believed to be considerably less than it was a few months ago. Gone are the days when teams could dream of selling up for $100m or more. This year Morgan Grenfell Private Equity tried for several months to find a buyer for its share of the Arrows team but could not find anyone interested. Sauber's partner Dietrich Mateschitz is trying to find someone to buy his share of the team but has had no luck. The problem in both cases is that there are no voting rights involved in the deals and investors have become smart enough to realize that investing in F1 without any voting power is a waste of money.
Richards is believed to have bought out the various non-BAT partners in BAR. He has not admitted as much but made an oblique reference to the situation recently when he said that Prodrive "will be looking for another partner in six years time when the tobacco ban comes into operation". The implication is that Prodrive is in partnership with BAT in the team although this has not actually been announced.
Buying out Adrian Reynard and Rick Gorne would not have been that difficult but reaching a deal with Mount Eagle Inc. was probably more difficult because of the partners in that business. It may be that some of those shares are still owned by others but that an agreement has been struck between Prodrive and Gerald Forsythe (the majority shareholder in Mount Eagle) to allow Richards to run the show.
|Print News Story|