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Investment company thought to have purchased 30% stake in Williams

NEWS STORY
14/01/2008

The Williams team, which is already looking forward to a "landmark year" in F1, appears to be taking another giant step forward to a return to its glory days with rumours of an international investment (Baugur Group) buying a 30 percent stake in the Grove based outfit.

It is rumoured that Frank Williams and Patrick Head have each sold 15 percent of their holdings, though this has yet to be officially confirmed.

According to its website, Baugur Group is an international investment company focussing on investments within the fields of retail, financial investments and media in Iceland, the UK, and Scandinavia. Companies related to Baugur Group employ some 75,000 people worldwide in over 3,900 stores with a total turnover of 9.8 billion.

Among Baugur's principal Retail investments are the supermarket chain Iceland, the toy retailer Hamleys, already a sponsor of the Williams team, Woodward Foodservice, the jewellery chain Goldsmiths, fashion chains MK One and Jane Norman, the health products chain Julian Graves, fashion company Mosaic Fashions, the UK department store chain, House of Fraser, Hagar, Iceland's largest retailer, the famous Danish department store chain Magasin du Nord and Illum, one of Denmark's largest department stores. Baugur also has a substantial, but non-controlling, indirect stake in the AIM-listed wholesaler Booker Group.

In recent months, Frank Williams has regularly inferred that his team will have a substantial budget, while such an investment would also confirm why Nico Rosberg was so keen to remain with Williams rather than move to McLaren.

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