OCTOBER 26, 1998
THE relationship between Arrows and Danka will almost certainly come to an end at the end of this season following the news that company founder and chief executive Dan Doyle has resigned as a result of the financial problems which have beset the office machinery group.
Doyle was the man behind the sponsorship of Arrows, having been a motor racing fan for many years and having run DanÊDoyle Racing in IMSA. Danka went on to fund Jim Downing's Kudzu-Mazda team before deciding to go global withÊArrows.
Danka ran into trouble after taking over the photocopying businesses previously owned by Eastman Kodak. In doing so it took on nearly half a billion dollars of debt. Integrating the businesses was much more difficult than expected and a series of poor results has seen Danka's share price plummet in the last year. The company last week managed to negotiate a temporary waiver of debt repayments and additional borrowing of $20m but has also appointed advisors to look at ways of restructuring to appease infuriated shareholders. This may result in the company being carved up.
While parts of the Danka empire remain profitable it is unlikely that any of them will be happy to provide the kind of money that Tom Walkinshaw wants for title sponsorship of his F1 team.