Vijay Mallya Acquires Spyker Formula One Team

September 2nd, 2007

The Liquor Baron, Vijay Mallya, chairman and CEO of Kingfisher Airlines and Dutch entrepreneur Michiel Mol look set to become the new owners of the Spyker Formula One team, which was bought from the Midland Group only a year ago by sportscar makers Spyker Cars. Strongwind, Mol’s investment arm, and Watson Limited – owned by Mallya – have made the offer.

Spyker F1 is owned by Dutch sportscar maker Spyker Cars, who acquired the Formula One team from Midland (MF1) for $106.6 million last year. Midland owned the team before Spyker for two years before selling it. Before that, the Formula One Team was originally called Jordan and run by Eddie Jordan. If the takeover goes ahead, it means the formula 1 team may go one more incarnation.

The partners said in a joint statement,

This offer has been accepted by the board of Spyker Cars and exclusivity has been granted to the consortium Orange India Holdings to proceed with due diligence to achieve completion within 30 days.

Profile of Spyker
Nationality Netherlands/UK
Drivers Adrian Sutil (Ger) and Sakon Yamamoto (Jap)
Engine Ferrari V8
Tyres Bridgestone
Team principal Colin Kolles
2006 position 10th
Drivers’ titles 0
Constructors’ titles 0

Mallya has refused to say anything on new team names or driver line-ups, but it is widely speculated that  Karun Chandhok, one of India’s leading racers and currently racing in the GP2 series, could have a shot at a race seat. However, Narain Karthikeyan would probably be the frontrunner for a racing seat —he has had one full season with Jordan F1 Team in 2005 and is currently a test driver with Williams F1 Team.

The deal comes at an opportune time for Vijay Mallya – Kingfisher is expanding its international operations and Formula One Race is coming to India in next couple of years. Leveraging F1’s huge viewership across the globe could be the perfect vehicle to carry the brand abroad.

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