AUGUST 29, 2002

Carl Smith and Arrows

The rumors have been circulating in Spa about who the planned new owner of Arrows might be and the latest suggestion is that an American mulitmillionaire named Carl Smith may be the man behind the supposed deal. We understand that also involved are former British American Racing personnel Rick Gorne and Robert Synge.

The big question is who Carl Smith is and whether or not he has the kind of money needed to do such a deal. The rumors we have heard say that he is 82 years old and made a fortune in iridium trading. However we have been unable to trace anyone to match that profile.

One possibility we have tracked down is Carl W Smith, the founder of the Amvest Corporation who is reckoned to be worth $400m in coal mining, natural gas production and finance. This Mr. Smith was rich enough to donate $25m to the University of Virginia a few years ago to expand a stadium in Charlottesville, Virginia. The facility was later named after him. But this Smith is only 69 years of age and founded Amvest in 1961 after a career in merchant banking. It is worth noting that Amvest also seems to have an investment banking business, which has been operating since 1976 which specialises in restructuring problematic businesses in long-term relationships, preferring to play an advisory role rather than getting involved in the day-to-day running of the businesses.

Whether or not this is the right Mr. Smith is another matter.