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SBD Global/October 18, 2012/Finance

British Motor Brand Cosworth Up For Sale, Rolls-Royce Said To Be Interested

Cosworth, "one of the great names of the British motor industry, renowned for building high performance engines for racing teams and sports cars, has been put up for sale," according to Robert Lea of the LONDON TIMES. After "months of waiting to test the stock market with a flotation of the company," the owners of Cosworth have instructed Swiss-based global financial services company UBS to find a buyer for the business. Speculation immediately centered on Rolls-Royce as an interested party -- "in recent years Cosworth has diversified into aerospace and Rolls is among its key customers." Such a deal "would mark an extraordinary return to its past for Rolls, a company that made its name in the car industry before the business split to leave the present FTSE 100 company focused on aircraft engines and turbines." Cosworth's "capabilities and intellectual property are likely to interest a number of other automotive and aerospace companies," including British global engineering group GKN, "which also operates in both markets, as well as defence companies, another market into which Cosworth has moved." Cosworth CEO Tim Routsis said, "We have been paused for the last 18 months, and the board has decided that we cannot wait any longer otherwise we risk losing momentum" (LONDON TIMES, 10/17). MOTORSPORT-TOTAL.com's Stefan Ziegler wrote that "Cosworth's F1 engines have been one of the most successful ones in the series history." Only Ferrari engines have won more races (220) than Ford-Cosworth engines that won 176 races between '63-04 (MOTORSPORT-TOTAL.com, 10/17).
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