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DATE News (chronologically)
05/04/12
track news
Silverstone to hold talks with American consortium
The British Racing Drivers' Club, which owns the circuit, agreed a period of exclusivity last autumn with a mysterious group, believed to be Qatari-backed, and a deal was expected to be concluded over the winter.

That appears to have fallen through, however, with the BRDC releasing a statement yesterday saying the period of exclusivity was over and it was keen to speak to "interested parties".

Although the BRDC claims negotiations with its preferred bidder "remain positive", it is rumored that the Qataris have walked away from the deal.

Telegraph Sport understands that the American consortium, financed by New York-based Guggenheim Partners and working under the name Project Penelope, will meet with the BRDC next week to talk over their vision for Silverstone.

With the Qataris potentially out of the running, the BRDC may well find that the American consortium has lowered the terms of the offer it made last summer, which included an initial ground rent of £2.5 million per annum. The Americans will still be bidding for a 150-year lease, though, with the opportunity to develop Silverstone and its surrounding land comprising some 760 acres.

A separate deal to buy land adjacent to Silverstone owned by former team owner Eddie Jordan would need to be concluded separately.

The BRDC insisted once again on Thursday that it did not need a partner to continue the redevelopment.

"With or without any investment, the long-term futures of both Silverstone and the British Grand Prix are absolutely secure," chairman Stuart Rolt said.

"If we cannot find a suitable partner, we shall continue with the development ourselves, albeit at a slower pace."

However, with debts believed to be in the region of £30 million to £50 million, and a commitment to F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone over the timetable for redevelopment, new investment would surely be welcome.  The Telegraph

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