APRIL 7, 2002
Pollock and British American Racing
CRAIG POLLOCK owns a share of a company which owns 35% of British American Racing. Mount Eagle Inc. is a company in which Pollock is believed to hold 60% of the shares (although some of these may be assigned to Jacques Villeneuve). Whatever the case, this means that Pollock owns (or controls) around 21% of the BAR shares. Formula 1 teams have dropped in value of late and as BAR has a large debt to take into account (although it is secured by British American Tobacco) this shareholding is probably worth less than $20m. We have heard however that Pollock is looking for twice that money to sell his shares.
He is unlikely to find it. There is no real need to buy him out, although we have heard that he is using a blocking vote he has on decisions - which is causing some frustration with BAT. If this is true there is likely to be rapid solution to the problem but it may affect Villeneuve's future with the team, as if BAT have to pay off Pollock they will probably kick Villeneuve out if only to get rid of the problem.
There is an additional problem is that Villeneuve is believed to have an option to stay with the team if he chooses to do so and if BAT decide that it does not want him he also needs to be paid off.
By all accounts, Pollock took care to make sure that he was not ousted by his partners - but was ousted nonetheless.
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