Currently reading: Williams Formula 1 team up for sale as losses mount
Team and wider company are confirmed as for sale, with “various strategic options” being considered
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2 mins read
29 May 2020

The owner of the Williams Formula 1 team has confirmed a plan to sell all or part of the company in efforts to raise fresh capital. 

Now widely reported, the decision would mean founder Sir Frank Williams relinquishing majority ownership of the once-dominant team after 43 years at the helm. 

In a statement, Williams Grand Prix Holdings (WGPH) has said this is the “right and prudent thing to do in order to take time to consider a full range of options and put the Formula 1 team in the best possible position for the future”. 

The statement list “various strategic options” that are being considered, “including but not limited to raising new capital for the business, a divestment of a minority stake in Williams Grand Prix Holdings, or a divestment of a majority stake in WGPH including a potential sale of the whole company”.

Williams posted a loss of £13 million for 2019, selling a substantial stake in its Williams Advanced Engineering arm to a private equity firm to bolster its balance sheet. However, the coronavirus pandemic has brought into focus the financial struggles of a team now regularly competing at the back of the F1 grid. 

The British team, based in Oxfordshire, has also split with its title sponsor Rokit and major sponsor Rok drinks. 

The decision comes soon after F1’s owner, Liberty Media, introduced a budget cap for next season to ease the financial burden on team revenues post-pandemic. 

Today Renault chief financial officer Clotilde Delbos confirmed the French car maker's intention to stay in F1, despite a massive restructuring plan of the whole business, with 15,000 jobs to be cut. 

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Comments
8

29 May 2020

 Sign of the times I'm afraid, still, Sir Frank should proud of what he has achieved in his 43yr career in F1.

29 May 2020

Must be heart breaking for him. The Williams family feud can't have helped. His daughter Claire sadly seems out of her depth. My favourite team in the 80/90s but the successful years now seem like a long time ago.

29 May 2020
Perspective buyers may opt for investing in Formula E rather than the F1 Williams team. What massive exposure, regardless of Frank's asking price.

29 May 2020

Hope they can at least still be a team in contention but history suggests otherwise. They came up with some great engineering tricks back in the day. I suspect a billionaire or an engineering corporation may want to take them over, Renault would be a nice twist but not from the financial state they too find themselves in by the sound of it.

 

29 May 2020

Sad days...

Long live the past !

 

30 May 2020
The demise of Williams is sad news for sure but just goes to show the precarious nature of life in F1 - without results you need VERY deep pockets to survive and rose tinted memories of glory days don't pay the bills.

The past few years have seen a string of problems/damaging mistakes for the team and ultimately the buck stops with Claire Williams - IMHO she's a very nice lady but lacks the management skills to bring Williams back to its competitive best.

30 May 2020
MarkII wrote:

The demise of Williams is sad news for sure but just goes to show the precarious nature of life in F1 - without results you need VERY deep pockets to survive and rose tinted memories of glory days don't pay the bills. The past few years have seen a string of problems/damaging mistakes for the team and ultimately the buck stops with Claire Williams - IMHO she's a very nice lady but lacks the management skills to bring Williams back to its competitive best.

maybe they couldn't afford a top team manager?, maybe Franks Daughter stepped forward?, I don't know, but, circumstances and yes lack of experience might have played a part, but, nobody is cash rich just now,and, if they are spending, like us, they want value for money.

30 May 2020

I feel sorry for Claire since she has done her best and you can't ask for more than that. I have been reading Bernie Ecclestone's biography and wonder what he had done to fix the situation. I think attention might be given to Mike O'Driscoll as CEO - lots of car industry marketing experience and a car enthusiast possibly not the best man for the job? I'm still surprised that Chinese vehicle manufacturers are not more involved with F1.

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