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SBD Global/April 16, 2014/Facilities

U.S. Investment Company NeXovation Confident In Complaint Over Nürburgring Sale

U.S. investment company NeXovation is confident in the complaint it filed with the European Commission over the sale of the Nürburgring racetrack. The company revealed on Friday that it has filed a complaint regarding the sale process of the historic racetrack. NeXovation claims that its bid for the Nürburgring was not properly considered. While the company cannot comment on the ongoing procedure due to a non-disclosure agreement it signed as part of the bidding process, NeXovation CEO Robb Sexton said, “I can tell you that we are confident in our claim and bid.” The Nürburgring was sold to motorsport industry supplier Capricorn Group for more than €100M ($139M) on March 11. NeXovation alleges that the court-appointed administrators failed to notify the company of a projected award date other than March 31. A spokesperson for administrators Thomas B. Schmidt and Jens Lieser told SBD Global that they have not yet received NeXovation’s complaint and therefore cannot comment on its content. However, spokesperson Elke Schmitz said, “The investor process about the sale of the Nürburgring was performed with utmost care and according to the rules.” NeXovation, which submitted a bid of €150M ($207M) for the track, said that there is no clear timetable for when it will hear back from the European Commission. Regardless of the outcome, the company is ready for a fight. “NeXovation will not speculate on future developments or actions,” Sexton said. “But, the company is committed to pursuing its options to secure the award as the highest bidder for the assets of the Nürburgring."

HISTORIC VENUE: The Ring, which opened in 1927, is one of the most famous racetracks in the world. The track, referred to as “Grüne Hölle” (Green Hell), thanks to former F1 world champion Jackie Stewart, has seen legendary races including the fire accident of triple F1 world champion Niki Lauda in ’76. The modern Nürburgring includes a 3.2-mile Grand Prix track and the 14-mile Nordschleife, as well as a theme park and business center. The downfall of the track began when the German state of Rhineland-Pfalz, where the track is located, decided to turn the Ring into a year-round theme park. And it ended in July ’12, when the Nürburgring had to file for bankruptcy. However, the track, which has operated at a loss for years, is still a sought-after commodity and not only due to its motorsports history. Sexton: "The opportunity for us to implement a completely new business model, while preserving the historical and iconic nature of the Ring, is one of the most exciting aspects of the NeXovation bid."
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