NOVEMBER 20, 2002
The world according to Oliver Behring
According to Oliver Behring, a 37-year-old German investment banker, his company Asset Trust & Partners has bought a 60% shareholding in Arrows for $50m. A new company has been created (but is not yet registered) called German Grand Prix Racing GmbH and the money for the purchase has been supplied by the Germans, in expectation of an investment shortly by the real buyer Prince Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, a member of Dubai's ruling family, the chairman of the Emirates Airlines and chairman of the Victory Team world offshore powerboat team. If this is confirmed there is no question about the money but at the moment Behring has taken out a bridging loan to cover the deal. According to Behring this was necessary because of the laws of money-laundering which make it difficult to rapidly transfer large sums of money around the world.
Behring said that the there is an agreement between Tom Walkinshaw and the FIA that the team will have an entry and told the German press than he is "a 99.95% chance" that the team will be present at the first race of 2003. Behring also said that the team's former shareholder Morgan Grenfell is now out of the picture. The only problem with this is that there is an ongoing court case in London between Arrows and Morgan Grenfell over the shares in the team and thus it is hard to imagine that what Behring says is true.
The deal with the Arrows came about, according to Behring, from a contact who had been involved in previous negotiations for a takeover of Prost Grand Prix. Behring also said that he was talking with drivers Jos Verstappen, Enrique Bernoldi and Fernando Alonso (this is odd in that Alonso is already signed for Renault for the 2003 season).
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