JANUARY 4, 1999
Enter Teleglobe Inc.
THE telecommunications company Teleglobe Inc. is to announce a major Formula 1 deal later today and there is little doubt that the deal will involve British American Racing as Teleglobe is a subsidiary of Montreal-based National Telesystems Ltd., which is controlled by Charles Sirois.
Teleglobe Inc. is the mobile satellite communication arm of the burgeoning empire, which is expanding rapidly in Asia at the moment and is a partner with the Orbital Sciences Corporation in Orbcomm - a satellite data transmission company - and with TRW in the development of a global mobile phone network called Odyssey.
Although the company is listed on various stock exchanges, the company remains firmly under the control of Sirois, who has built it up from a family-owned paging company into a global network in competition with AT&T, MCI Worldcom, Sprint and LCI. The company doubled in size last year with its takeover of Excel Communications and has big plans in online commerce. The company's profile is a perfect fit for British American Racing - and Canadian driver Jacques Villeneuve.
In recent months we have heard suggestions on several occasions that the new team may be backed by one of the many companies in the Canadian entertainment and drinks group Seagram, which is controlled by the Montreal-based Bronfman Family. Seagram is a big player in the world's spirit markets although sales have dived recently because of the Asian financial crisis.
Seagram is rapidly expanding in the entertainment business, and has recently bought the Polygram company and is in the process of creating Universal Music - which will control 25% of all record sales in the world. Universal Pictures, another Seagram offshoot, sponsored Williams last year although its recent film releases have all failed at the box office.