OCTOBER 3, 2003
Pollock and Jordan
There are rumors that Craig Pollock could be looking at the possibility of coming back to Formula 1 to revive the troubled Jordan team. The stories circulating suggest that Pollock would take over the Jordan shareholding owned by the venture capitalist company Warburg, Pincus & Co, which acquired 40% of the team for around $60m at the end of 1998. That transaction valued the team at $150m but the stock market crash and the economic downturn since then means that Warburg, Pincus & Co will get only a fraction of that money back if it decides to sell.
The original intention was for the team to be floated but that idea was long ago put on hold and it may be that Warburg, Pincus & Co will be looking for someone to run the team on its behalf, perhaps by investing more money to gain control of the business from Eddie Jordan. Jordan could then be moved into the background and someone new could come in to run the run the team. Pollock is a logical choice to do that and although he built up huge debts while at BAR and was eventually pushed out of the management of the team, he should have learned from his mistakes.
The option would be for Warburg Pincus to pull out to avoid any liabilities if Jordan sinks into debt although it is thought unlikely that this will happen, even if Dominic Shorthouse, the man who did the original deal, left Warburg Pincus in November 2000 and has since established a private equity firm called Englefield Capital.
Pollock remains a shareholder in BAR and in theory could sell this share in order to raise some money. The problem with BAR is that it is laden down with massive long-term debt, guaranteed by BAT, and so selling the shares will not be easy. It should be noted however that up to now Pollock has not shown much desire to invest his own money in running teams and so would probably look for a backer, trading his management skills to gain equity in a new organization. He achieved this with his PK Racing in CART thanks to billionaire Kevin Kalkhoven, who is now one of the partners in Open Wheel Racing LLC which is buying CART. Another Pollock backer Gerry Forsythe is also involved in Open Wheel Racing.
Bringing American money (and an American flavour) into F1 would be a major bonus for the sport and one which could offer Eddie Jordan the chance to see his team thrive once again.
In Indianapolis Pollock said that he was quite happy to out of F1 but there is little doubt that he sees the sport as unfinished business.
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