APRIL 11, 2002
Bombardier and BAR
THERE is speculation in THE MONTREAL GAZETTE that the Bombardier company may be discussing taking the title sponsorship of British American Racing. There is speculation in the newspaper that British American Tobacco may be planning to withdraw and has commissioned the investment bank Goldman Sachs to find a buyer for the shares.
The story sounds rather unlikely as David Richards is believed to have an option to buy the BAT shares and there is believed to be a deal with Richards for the next few years for BAT backing in Formula 1 and in the World Rally Championship. It is possible that Bombardier may be looking at sponsorship of the team but a sale of the team makes little sense at the moment. In order to make the sale attractive BAT would have to write off the debts associated with the team and this are currently enormous although they are guaranteed by BAT so they do not pose a threat to the team.
There may be some mischievous activity behind the story, with someone having leaked information trying to stir up trouble, although it has to be said that Bombardier has invested in sponsorship of the Pagoda at Indianapolis and as a sponsor of the Indy Racing League.
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