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SBD Global/June 23, 2014/Finance

Mercedes F1 Boss Toto Wolff Sells 5% Stake In Williams F1 To Brad Hollinger

Mercedes F1 team Exec Dir Toto Wolff has sold 5% of his shares in Williams, according to Ian Parkes of the PA. U.S.-based Vibra Healthcare Chair & CEO Brad Hollinger has "purchased the stake, with an option" on Wolff's remaining 10% in the "Grove-based marque." Wolff, a former exec director at Williams who bought into the team in '09, has been "looking to sell his shares since purchasing" a 30% stake in Mercedes following his arrival in Jan. '13. Hollinger, in attendance at this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix, is "convinced his investment is a prudent one." Hollinger: "I think F1 is right on the cusp of another explosive growth path. The whole social media element is an opportunity that F1 can really tap in to and accelerate even more" (PA, 6/20). PITPASS' Chris Balfe reported Wolff said, "It was always the plan to reduce the shareholding in Williams towards a level that is clearly a financial investment. This was important to Daimler for conflict of interest reasons and for compliance reasons." The sale "leaves team founder Frank Williams owning around 52% of Williams Grand Prix Holdings, team co-founder Patrick Head with 9% and Wolff with just over 10%, Hollinger on 5% and 23.7% on the stock market" (PITPASS, 6/20). The BBC's Andrew Benson wrote Williams Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams said that Frank Williams had "no interest in further diluting his existing shareholding" (BBC, 6/20).
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