Automorbit, Sport – The Williams Formula 1 team has new owners this week after announcing on its website Friday that Williams Racing has been sold to New York-based investment firm Dorilton Capital.
The deal, reported to be for $200 million, comes on the heels of what the team calls a “strategic review” of its options as F1 heads into a new era featuring team budget caps and a change in the sport’s competitive package in 2022.
According to Williams F1, as posted to its website, this transaction “received the unanimous support of the Board of Williams, including Sir Frank (Williams), who determined the transaction delivers the best outcome for the Company’s shareholders and secures the long-term success of the Williams Formula 1 team.”
To new American owners do not plan to relocate the team from its U.K. headquarters in Grove.
Williams, the sport’s dominant team from 1980-97 with nine F1 Constructors’ Championships, has hit rock bottom in recent years. The team finished 10th (out of 10) in the Constructors’ Championship in 2019 and has failed to score a single point so far in 2020 with drivers George Russell and Nicholas Latifi.
“The strategic review was a useful process to go through and proved that both Formula 1 and Williams have credibility and value,” deputy team principal Claire Williams said. “We have now reached a conclusion and we are delighted that Dorilton are the new owners of the team. When we started this process, we wanted to find a partner who shared the same passion and values, who recognized the team’s potential and who could unlock its power.
“In Dorilton we know we have found exactly that. People who understand the sport and what it takes to be successful. People who respect the team’s legacy and will do everything to ensure it succeeds in the future. As a family we have always put our team first. Making the team successful again and protecting our people has been at the heart of this process from the start. This may be the end of an era for Williams as a family-owned team, but we know it is in good hands. The sale ensures the team’s survival but most importantly will provide a path to success. We are enormously grateful to Dorilton for the faith they have shown in our team and we look forward to working with them now. I would also like to thank the Williams Board and our advisers who have worked tirelessly over the past months to make this happen and our employees who have remained steadfastly loyal.”
According to Forbes, Williams lost $17 million (13 million pounds) in 2019. Bloomberg reported over the weekend that the sale price was approximately $200 million (152 million pounds).
Williams Grand Prix Engineering Ltd. was founded by Frank Williams and British engineer Patrick Head in 1977.
“The transaction announced today marks the next stage in the history of Williams Formula 1 at an exciting time in the sport,” Williams CEO Mike O’Driscoll said. “The Company has successfully completed its strategic review and we are pleased to announce the sale to Dorilton Capital, which delivers a great outcome for shareholders and secures the long term future of the Company.”
Chairman Matthew Savage of Dorilton Capital said that the goal is to get Williams back to the front of the F1 grid. The team has won just one F1 race since 2004, that being Pastor Maldonado’s triumph in Spain in 2012.
“We are delighted to have invested in Williams and we are extremely excited by the prospects for the business,” Savage said. “We believe we are the ideal partner for the company due to our flexible and patient investment style, which will allow the team to focus on its objective of returning to the front of the grid.”