Silverstone for sale?


Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Can't vouch for the truth in this report but interesting nonetheless.
For the past few years the British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC), the owner of Silverstone, has been on the hunt to get funding for the redevelopment of the circuit to bring it up to the standard of other Grand Prix venues around the world. This search for an investor became all the more pressing at the end of 2009 when Silverstone signed a 17 year contract to host the British GP. It got loans to fund construction of a £27m pit and paddock complex which opened last year but it is understood to need at least £100m more to complete a masterplan which includes the construction of a hotel. To raise the money the BRDC's directors decided to sell a lease to the 850 acres of land on the Silverstone site but this plan stalled with the Club announcing in May that its talks with a preferred investor had come to nothing. It has now changed its tactic and the BRDC says it is prepared to sell the entire circuit itself.
The news came to light late last week in a small article buried in the post-British GP coverage of a weekly UK motorsport magazine. Interestingly, despite apparently being widely read in the motorsport industry, the article does not seem to have been covered anywhere, even on the website of the publication which reported it. Nevertheless, the news in it is perfectly legitimate. It states that getting Silverstone's investment partner "would likely involve the sale of equity in the circuit and [BRDC chairman Stuart] Rolt would not rule out anything up to and including the sale of 100 per cent of Silverstone Holdings," the immediate parent company of the track.
As with the BRDC's hunt for a new leaseholder of the land, the new investor must guarantee Silverstone's future as a motorsport venue. "We are looking for someone who is ready to spend over £100m in a 25-year time period," said Rolt. He added that "they won't do that unless they are given some serious security and ability to recover their investment. We are looking for someone who is going to come in and look after the whole circuit."
Derek Warwick commented at the fans forum that a deal they had been working on with an investor had fallen through and they were looking for a new investor so it wouldn't surprise me if the BRDC sold off a controlling interest in the circuit. I think it would be very healthy for Silverstone to be run by a professional company rather than by a bunch of old farts.
What they haven't commented on there is the reason the deal came to nothing. From what I know they were offering a % return based upon profits generated by the venue but with no control over how it was run and once the investmant was paid off to a set level then the invetor would end up with nothing.

The reason for the change in approach is that any investor who is willing to invest up to £100 million is going to want an proper equity share in the company they invest in as well as a say in how thei money is managed, especially when you are talking about a company that owns a venue such as Silverstone which carries a risk in itself.

In terms of selling an equity share in Silverstone, it is very restrictive as the most valuable assest the venue has is the land, which you will not be able to use to the full potential due to teh restrictions the sale would place on you. It would need someone with the money to invest and the passion for the current use of the venue to make it work, and to be honest they are really few and far between unless you start talking to people like McLaren who would probably not be interested right now, or middle eastern investors who would do it for the prestige and then let things slip...
I wonder if they've given Jonathon Palmer a buzz he seems to be doing a good job of running a successful buisness running circuits.
Palmer wouldn't touch it with a bargepole.He stated quite clearly during the Donington debacle that he had no interest at all in F1.
As canis points out the only value at Silverstone is the land.
Silverstone does have planning permision for large scale development on their land and this might just might attract potential buyers.
But the F1 GP is an albatross hanging around any potential buyers neck and this makes any sale not such an attractive purchase.
Classic Christian Sludge, take two and two, make 15, then explain how a complex series of partial differentials and gaussian elimination matrices can be employed to produce the answer "four". The man is certainly adept at muddying the waters to such an extent that bog snorkelers might flinch at trying to wade through it.
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