APRIL 24, 2000
Minardi sale close
NEGOTIATIONS for the sale of Minardi to a European consortium are, we believe, in the final stages with the little Italian team likely to be sold within a matter of weeks.
The details of the consortium are sketchy but we believe that it is led by Mark Muller, the marketing boss of the ISL software company. The price is expected to be in the region of $65m.
In order to make the team a competitive operation, there will need to be many changes with the most important issue being an engine deal. Minardi currently uses old Ford V10 engines from 1998 but this is proving to be a big disadvantage, although the new Minardi chassis appears to be a very good chassis. The problem of engine supply is expected to be solved with some form of deal with Supertec next year. This will be a lot more expensive than the current arrangement but should enable the team to produce better results which in turn will generate more sponsorship.
The consortium appears to believe that using the Minardi name is a good idea as it is one of the strongest brand names in F1, Minardi having attracted a very large following because of its status as the underdogs of the sport.