Virgin linked to Honda buy-out

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    Ross
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    Virgin linked to Honda buy-out

    Post by Ross on 18th February 2009, 11:50

    Virgin linked to Honda buy-out



    Source: ITV F1

    Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is the latest company to be linked with a buyout of Honda Racing.

    The Daily Telegraph reported last week that an unnamed third party had entered the fray to buy the team, a company described by a Honda source as “reputable, with deep pockets and a brand image known throughout the world”.

    The Telegraph and the Reuters news agency have now named Virgin as the mystery bidder, quoting a source close to Honda who stated that Branson’s company has lodged an offer to buy the team.

    If confirmed, the bid could trump plans for a management buyout of the team led by chief executive Nick Fry and team principal Ross Brawn, which until now was regarded as the most likely scenario.

    Branson has had minor flirtations with F1 in the past, notably when his Virgin Mobile brand sponsored the Jordan team in 2002.

    He is also a friend and business associate of Adrian Reynard, one of the founding partners in the BAR team that morphed into Honda Racing after it was bought by the Japanese manufacturer in late 2005.


    Honda put its Northamptonshire-based team up for sale last December following a slump in its road car sales triggered by the global credit crunch.

    F1’s commercial impresario Bernie Ecclestone has said he will do whatever he can to facilitate a rescue deal, while the Formula One Teams’ Association has also been supportive.

    Mercedes-Benz has indicated that it is willing to supply engines provided it is satisfied that the team has a viable future under its new ownership.

    If the current management stays on, Jenson Button and Brazilian rising star Bruno Senna, nephew of the late Ayrton, are expected to form the driver line-up.

    With all the other seats on the grid taken, Button’s chances of racing in F1 this year almost certainly depend on a rescue deal coming to fruition.


    Last edited by Ross on 26th February 2009, 07:54; edited 1 time in total


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    Mike
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    Re: Virgin linked to Honda buy-out

    Post by Mike on 18th February 2009, 13:08

    'The team currently known as Honda will be in Melbourne, but has secured enough backing to guarantee its presence at only the subsequent three grands prix.

    The Guardian on Friday agreed with speculation and reports that an immediate solution to the Brackley based squad's situation, following the withdrawal of owner, sponsor and engine supplier Honda Motor Co., has been found.



    But, citing sources "close to the" team, the British newspaper said the secured $30m funds, in part thanks to Brazilian sponsors backing the rookie Bruno Senna, may get Honda to only Australia, Malaysia, China and Bahrain.

    The report also said Senna and Jenson Button will be powered by Mercedes-Benz V8 engines.'


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