Marussia Formula One team teetering on bankruptcy
The Marussia Formula One team has posted a loss of $78.2 million (U.S.) for the 2012 calendar year -- having lost some $61 million in the previous season for a combined total of $98 million.
Marussia, which is officially registered as Manor Grand Prix Racing Limited, had a turnover of just $38.3 million, which was up from $37 million in 2011.
In its annual report the team says that the increased loss reflected “further significant investment in people, technology and infrastructure.”
To date, losses have been covered by loans from the shareholders. The report notes that as of April 13 this year “loans, accrued interest and fees of $188.7 million were capitalized. This has improved the group’s balance sheet considerably and makes the company a more attractive prospect to potential investors and sponsors.”
The report adds that “the directors are … confident that the combination of formal shareholder support together with further investment and sponsorship will enable the company to meet its debts for a period of at least 12 months from the date of signing these financial statements.”
The team management insists that the future is brighter.
“Because of the way we structured the business in the year ending 2012, a lot of money from our major shareholder and sponsor Marussia went in as loans,” CEO Graeme Lowdon told Autoweek. “Post balance-sheet date, nearly $190 million of those loans were subsequently capitalized -- which means that instead of that sitting on your balance sheet as a debt owed back to Marussia, it’s turned into share capital.
“It looks as if we have a lot of debt, but a significant proportion of that debt has now been removed. Money that is now coming in from Marussia is coming in as sponsorship instead of loans.
“If you look at Red Bull, nearly $135.8 million a year comes in from their parent company by means of sponsorship instead of loans. If you were to remove that element from their accounts, they would go from a nominal profit to an enormous loss.”
Meanwhile, Lowdon says that the team is hoping to finally secure a Concorde deal with Bernie Ecclestone. “You could argue that it’s been highly detrimental to our business,” he said. “We would hope that we would reach some form of agreement so that we’re on a level playing field with the other participants.” AutoWeek