British Racing Drivers Club Reportedly Sells Silverstone Circuit For $63M To Property Group
Silverstone, the home of British motor racing, "has been sold" -- raising the prospect of a new business and technology park being built beside the famous circuit, according to Sylt & Reid of the London INDEPENDENT. The identity of the buyer of the Northamptonshire race track, which is home to the F1 British Grand Prix, "is unknown, but is believed to be a real estate firm." The most recent company "linked with a takeover of the track was MEPC, a property group owned by the BT pension fund." Its offer was reportedly for £40M ($63M) and "paves the way for a 200-acre business park to be built on the land." Until now, Silverstone "has been owned and operated by the British Racing Drivers Club," a group which has more than 800 members including F1 drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton. For the past few years the BRDC "has been trying to sell a 150-year lease on the track and 850 acres of land surrounding it in order to financially separate the club from the British Grand Prix, which comes with an annual hosting fee" estimated at £14M ($22M). F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone "is meeting the new investors next week in advance of a formal announcement." A senior motorsport personality said, "A deal has been done on Silverstone. I don’t know who bought it and I don’t know what the terms are, but it is absolutely categoric that a deal has been done and not due to be announced until next month probably" (INDEPENDENT, 8/16).