Why Spyker has backing from Leaseplan

Christijan Albers, Chinese GP 2006

Christijan Albers, Chinese GP 2006 

 © The Cahier Archive

The Spyker MF1 team has announced a three-year sponsorship with Leaseplan, a Dutch car leasing business. This is no surprise at all because of the style in which the team is now doing its deals.

Leaseplan is the world's biggest car lease business with more than one million vehicles under its management at any given time and thus it is a useful ally for car companies as there are always deals that can be done. Leaseplan was created by ABN Amro in the 1970s and was bought from the bank in 2004 by a consortium consisting of Volkswagen Finances and two Arab finance companies: the Oyalan group, a Saudi investment corporation which was created by the late Suliman Olayan, one of Saudi Arabia's wealthiest businessmen, before his death in 2002. Olayan was well-connected with the Saudi royal family and started his empire in trucking before expanding his empire into construction, energy, insurance, finance and as the distributor of many Western brands in the Kingdom. Before his death it was reckoned that he was worth $8bn. The third investor in Leaseplan was the Mubadala Development Company, which owns shares in the Ferrari and Spyker companies - evidence that there is a lot of networking going on around the Spyker investment in F1 at the moment.

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