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Silverstone to be divided by sale? The rumored sale of Silverstone, allegedly to a private equity firm owned by Lloyds Banking Group, could see the British Grand Prix and other racing 'assets' split off from the land surrounding the famous circuit.
According to Sky News, the deal between LDC and the British Racing Drivers' Club will see Lloyds Development Capital invest 'millions of pounds' in support of a management buyout of Silverstone Circuits, which promotes and hosts the British Grand Prix, while property group MEPC – the buyer rumored in the last round of 'Silverstone sold' stories - acquiring the adjoining land, which has long been earmarked for redevelopment.
While the MEPC deal is rumored to carry a £40m price tag, it is less clear what value will be attached to the other half of the agreement, but it is likely to the two could go 'hand in hand' when details are announced, which could be within the next few weeks.
The BRDC has long held ambitions to add a business park, education campus and hotels to the Silverstone site, but has seen several potential buyers fall by the wayside over the past four years. The latest stories suggest, however, that whoever acquires the surrounding land would not necessarily get circuit – which had originally been rumored to come with a 150-year lease as the BRDC is reluctant to sell the facility outright – or the right to promote the grand prix, which comes with an hosting fee of around £14m a year. It has also been suggested, however, that BRDC could sell the site entirely, but lease the circuit and its infrastructure.
The BRDC is expected to use any money received from the sale to address loans it took to fund the building of the Silverstone Wing and other circuit modifications in 2010-11, as well as pressing ahead with further upgrades to the facility. The new pit and paddock complex, a condition of the 17-year contract to stage the British Grand Prix, left the club with £26m of net debt in 2011.
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