Williams F1 team sold to US investment firm
Friday 21st August, 2020 - 6:56pm
Williams has announced the sale of its Formula 1 team to a United States private investment firm.
Williams Grand Prix Holdings revealed in late May that it was entering into a formal sale process, with a sale in full, sale in part, or capital raising all being considered.
That process has now resulted in Williams Racing being sold to Dorilton Capital.
“The Strategic Review was a useful process to go through and proved that both Formula One and Williams have credibility and value,” said Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams.
“We have now reached a conclusion and we are delighted that Dorilton are the new owners of the team.”
According to Williams’ announcement, Dorilton has committed to retaining the team’s name and has “no plans” of moving operations from its Grove base.
The sale is also said to have had the full support of the board, including founder Sir Frank Williams.
“When we started this process, we wanted to find a partner who shared the same passion and values, who recognised the team’s potential and who could unlock its power,” added Claire WIlliams.
“In Dorilton we know we have found exactly that. People who understand the sport and what it takes to be successful. People who respect the team’s legacy and will do everything to ensure it succeeds in the future.
“As a family we have always put our team first. Making the team successful again and protecting our people has been at the heart of this process from start.
“This may be the end of an era for Williams as a family owned team, but we know it is in good hands. The sale ensures the team’s survival but most importantly will provide a path to success.
“We are enormously grateful to Dorilton for the faith they have shown in our team and we look forward to working with them now.
“I would also like to thank the Williams Board and our advisers who have worked tirelessly over the past months to make this happen and our employees who have remained steadfastly loyal.”
Williams CEO Mike O’Driscoll said, “The transaction announced today marks the next stage in the history of Williams Formula 1 at an exciting time in the sport.
“The Company has successfully completed its strategic review and we are pleased to announce the sale to Dorilton Capital, which delivers a great outcome for shareholders and secures the long term future of the Company.”
Dorilton Capital’s Chairman, Matthew Savage, commented, “We are delighted to have invested in Williams and we are extremely excited by the prospects for the business.
“We believe we are the ideal partner for the company due to our flexible and patient investment style, which will allow the team to focus on its objective of returning to the front of the grid.
“We look forward to working with the Williams team in carrying out a detailed review of the business to determine in which areas new investment should be directed.
“We also recognise the world class facilities at Grove and confirm that there are no plans to relocate.”
The sale announcement follows confirmation earlier in the week that Williams had signed the latest incarnation of F1’s Concorde Agreement, which stipulates commercial rights and obligations pertaining to participation in the championship.
At the time of the formal sale process announcement, Williams Grand Prix Holdings had recorded negative EBITDA of GBP 13.0 million (approximately AUD 24 million) for the year ending December 31, 2019, with the swing from profit to loss largely due to the F1 team.
It is currently 10th in the world constructors’ championship.