Sauber F1 Announces Change of Ownership to Save Struggling Team
By Sameer Contractor
1 mins read
Published on July 21, 2016
- Founder Peter Sauber will retire from all functions of the Sauber F1 team
- Monisha Kaltenborn will continue as the team principal and CEO
- Sauber F1 was stuggling with cash flow issues and the buyout was expected
Commenting on the sale of ownership, founder Peter Sauber said, "Monisha Kaltenborn and I yesterday signed an agreement which secures the future of the Formula 1 Team and the Sauber Group. I am very happy that my courageous investment to buy the team back, which I made six years ago, with the intention to secure the base in Hinwil and the place in Formula 1 has proved to be correct."
Longbow Finance purchased the 66.6 per cent controlling stake held by Peter Sauber in the team along with the remaining stake that was with Kaltenborn. Despite the new ownership, the team will continue with the 'Sauber' name. Furthermore, Kaltenborn added that the new ownership is being seen in the best interest of the employees, partners and suppliers as well as the base in Hinwil and for Swiss motorsport.
Adding further, she said, "We are very pleased that by reaching an agreement with Longbow Finance S.A., we can secure the future of Sauber at the pinnacle of motorsport. We are convinced that Longbow Finance S.A. is the perfect partner to again make the team competitive and successful in Formula 1." Kaltenborn also commented that the new structure will allow the F1 team to expand its third party business, which it commercialises from the learnings at the track.
Sauber F1 had been struggling financially for a while now as the team even had issues paying its employees earlier this year due its cash flow problems. The financial issues were apparent after the team joined Force India and Manor racing in filing a complaint with the European Union over F1's pay out policy of the earnings.
Sauber Motorsport AG was founded in the 1970s, while the Swiss company made its entry into Formula 1 in 1993 as Sauber F1 team in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz. With a few hits and misses at the track throughout the two-year stint, Mercedes left the team at the end of the season in 1994, and Sauber moved forward to associate with Red Bull for a 10-year sponsorship deal, while sourcing engines from Ford. During 1997-2005, Sauber used Ferrari designed engines while bringing the then lesser known Kimi Raikkonen to the sport.
At the end of 2005, BMW bought Sauber's shares from its current stakeholder Credit Suisse, the company Red Bull sold its stake to, while Peter Sauber retained a 20 per cent stake. As a factory team now, the F1 team was rebranded as BMW Sauber and the association with the Bavarian giant continued until 2009. Peter Sauber bought back the team that same year, gaining entry into the 2010 season and continued to lead the team till now.
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