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SBD Global/August 14, 2013/Franchises

F1 Team Sauber's Deals With Three Russian Investors Reportedly Falling Through

The financial situation of the Sauber F1 Team "is becoming more and more dramatic," according to BILD. The team "is reportedly unable to pay many of its bills." And now, "the anticipated rescue through the help of Russian investors seems to be falling through." The board of directors of the National Institute of Aviation Technologies (NIAT) "has reportedly voted in overwhelming fashion" against the €400M ($530M) investment. Sauber "is therefore threatened with insolvency" (BILD, 8/13). SKY SPORTS reported "having admitted that they were strapped for cash earlier in the summer, the Swiss team announced last month that they hoped to forge partnerships" with the NIAT, the Investment Cooperation Int'l Fund and the State Fund of Development of North-West Russian Federation. Speaking at last month's Hungarian Grand Prix, Sauber Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn said they had a "long-term deal" in place that would promote both Russian technology as well as the sport itself in that country. She added that the deal's "three pillars" would include a technological partnership with NIAT while they also sought to promote F1 in Russia in tandem with the planned grand prix in Sochi next year. All three agencies "have links to the Russian government, and it has also been reported that President Vladimir Putin has yet to give his consent to the partnerships" (SKY SPORTS, 8/13). Ö24 reported Sauber "was not available for comment on the issue." F1 "is currently in its summer break and the teams have to close their factories for two weeks" (Ö24, 8/13).
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