The Silverstone circuit complex has a new – although, as yet, unknown – owner, some four years after current owner, the British Racing Drivers’ Club, put the venue on the market.
The home of the British Formula 1 Grand Prix has been wanting to sell its lease and the 850-acre site upon which it sits in order to get the final cash injection needed to complete the venue’s suite of business, education and leisure facilities, following the track’s major upgrade works a little over three years ago.
According to a report in the Independent newspaper, the identity of the buyer – who not yet officially confirmed until an expected announcement next month – is believed to be a real estate firm. One of the reported bidders was the property consortium MEPC, which is believed to have put in an offer of £40 million (AU$68M) for the lease and land.
An unnamed BRDC member confirmed the sale to the newspaper, with the board now set to complete its expansion aims to add a commercial business park, education campus and hotels.
“A deal has been done on Silverstone,” they said.
“I don’t know who bought it and I don’t know what the terms are, but it is absolutely categoric that a deal has been done and not due to be announced until next month.”
As yet, there has been no official comment from the BRDC, MEPC or the Formula 1 group, whose commercial rights holder, Bernie Ecclestone, will also need to rubber-stamp the deal.
The BRDC will use the expected proceeds to pay off the loans it borrowed to fund its first round of 2010-11 major works, which included the expansion of the Grand Prix circuit’s ‘Loop’ and the relocation and development of a brand new pit and paddock complex.
The circuit’s new buyer will take control of the track’s 150-year lease and the right to assume control of the promotion of the British Grand Prix, whose multi-year contract comes with an annual promotional fee of £14 million (AU$23.8M) a year.
Small change, really…