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The Nurburgring has a new owner

NEWS STORY
11/03/2014

The German motor sport industry supplier Capricorn Group has bought the Nurburgring in a deal thought to be worth 100 million euros.

With Bernie Ecclestone's $50m having been rejected, investment firm H.I.G Capital became favourites to secure the deal, that was until Capricorn Group made its 100 million euro (£83m) bid.

"It was a close decision," said the administrator for Nurburgring, GmbH, Jens Lieser, at a press conference confirming the deal, revealing that as part of the agreement Capricorn Group has pledged to invest 25 million euros in order to expand the facilities around the circuit.

For its money, Capricorn, which supplies high-end crankshafts, cylinder liners, pistons, connecting rods and fibre-reinforced composite materials to the motor sport industry, gets an amusement park and two racetracks... the modern Formula One circuit and the legendary 20.8 kilometre Nordschleife.

However, while Capricorn will develop the circuit the future of the German Grand Prix remains in doubt. Nurburgring alternates every year with the Hockenheimring as the location of the Grand Prix but ran into difficulty after taking out a $370m loan in 2009. The debt was used to fund construction of an on-site shopping mall, hotel and amusement park.

However, the new facilities were not as popular as hoped and the circuit struggled to make debt repayments. It was then handed additional public support but, in an unexpected twist, the European Commission launched an investigation claiming that the assistance was not granted on market terms. To solve the problem the circuit was put up for sale in May last year. Bernie Ecclestone says his bid would have secured the future of the track and the race.

Chris Balfe

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Jumpy Bob, 14/03/2014 23:49

"It appears that the entire, selling and purchasing, process of the Nurburgring was flawed from the outset.

The cat was in the bag, before the process was even started.

The process was only in place to conform with the Government regulators, and the European Commission.

We now await the changes to the iconic facility that took 70 some odd years to build, on the proceeds of the German taxpayer...

Although the issues are on a multi-level scale, it is the politics of the dance."

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