FEBRUARY 28, 2011
Daimler completes Brawn buyout
The Mercedes GP team is now fully owned by the German car manufacturer's parent company Daimler AG and Aabar Investment PJS, after buying out the remaining shareholders in the team.
After Honda pulled out of Formula 1 before the start of the 2009 season, a management group including Ross Brawn and Nick Fry saved the team, creating Brawn GP. After winning the 2009 drivers' and constructors' championship, Daimler and Aabar bought 75.1% of the team, then rebranded as Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.
It has been widely expected every since that the group would purchase the remaining shares. It was announced today that Daimler AG has increased it's shareholding from 45.1% to 60% of the team, while Aabar has increased it's shareholding from 30% to 40% - buying the remaining shares held by Ross Brawn, Nick Fry, Caroline McGrory, John Marsden and Nigel Kerr.
Aabar, the Abu Dhabi based investment fund, is also the largest individual shareholder of Daimler AG - owning 9% of the German company.
Dr. Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars said, "This majority stake holding demonstrates our determination to build a long-term Formula 1 involvement on an even more successful platform. Our company's founders invented the automobile 125 years ago and the very first Mercedes was a racing car. These are the reasons why we see our Formula 1 programme as an important element of our brand history. The acquisition of a majority stake holding in our Silver Arrows team sends a clear signal that we intend to achieve technical and sporting success on world motorsport's biggest and most important stage - and to do so in cost-effective conditions."
Khadem Al Qubaisi, Chairman of Aabar Investments PJS said, "Aabar's and Daimler's joint investment in Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix is a further testament to our strong commitment to the sport of Formula 1 and to Aabar's strategic partnership with Daimler. As Abu Dhabi is increasingly placing itself as a recognised host of international sporting events, and particularly in light of the continuing success of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Aabar is proud to be supporting one of the most successful Formula 1 racing teams in the field. Aabar wishes Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix a successful start to the 2011 season."
Dr. Thomas Weber, Daimler AG board member and Chairman of the board of Mercedes GP said, "Our acquisition of the remaining 24.9 per cent together with our partner Aabar underlines our long-term commitment to Formula 1, the pinnacle of motor racing and the best international motorsport platform for demonstrating our willingness to compete and our technical expertise. This step will bring the colleagues from our Formula 1 chassis and engine groups even closer together and thereby help to develop our team step-by-step into a winning Formula 1 outfit. We now also fulfill Ross' wish of being in a position to focus wholly on the complex technical challenges of Formula 1 and on his role as our team principal."
Ross Brawn, Team Principal said, "Daimler and Aabar's acquisition of the remaining 24.9 per cent stake in Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix will be a further step in the consolidation and strengthening of our team for the future. Motor racing, particularly Formula 1, is a very specialised industry, and we are privileged to have such strong and understanding partners as Daimler and Aabar to support our joint ambitions. I remain fully committed to our team for the long-term, along with the management team and all of our employees. We all look forward to the challenge of making our team successful, and proudly representing Mercedes-Benz and the racing tradition of the Silver Arrows."
Norbert Haug, VP of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport said, "It is a logical step to acquire the remaining 24.9 pr cent of Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix together with our partner Aabar. Daimler and Aabar will be joint owners, in the ratio of 60/40, of our Formula 1 company and Silver Arrows works team. This lays the foundations for a successful long-term involvement at the pinnacle of motorsport."