Williams Racing is considering a partial or full sale of its Formula 1 team, after financial results for the team in the 2019 FIA Formula 1 World Championship saw a record loss.
The British team saw their Formula 1 revenue fall from £130.7 million in 2018 to £95.4 million last year. The group, which made a profit of £12.9m in 2018, posted a £13m loss as the team spent a second season bottom of the constructors’ standings, compared to third just five years ago.
On top of the struggling years at Williams, the coronavirus pandemic has also had a large effect on the team with their revenue.
“The WGPH board is undertaking a review of all the various strategic options available to the Company. Options being considered to include, but are not limited to, raising new capital for the business, divestment of a minority stake in WGPH, or divestment of a majority stake in WGPH including a potential sale of the whole Company.
“Whilst no decisions have been made regarding the optimal outcome yet, to facilitate discussions with interested parties, the Company announces the commencement of a “formal sale process.”
The team, which George Russell and Nicholas Latifi drive for, explained they have appointed financial advisers to help assist in finding interested parties in investment or a takeover.
The team created by Frank Williams in 1977, hold nine Constructors world titles, have said that they are yet to have talks about the team being sold, but have had talks about investments being made into the team.
“The Company is not in receipt of any approaches at the time of this announcement and confirms that it is in preliminary discussions with a small number of parties regarding a potential investment in the Company,
“There can be no certainty that an offer will be made, nor as to the terms on which any offer will be made. The WGPH board reserves the right to alter or terminate the process at any time and if it does so it will make an announcement as appropriate.
“The WGPH board also reserves the right to reject any approach or terminate discussions with any interested party at any time.”
Deal with ROKiT Terminated
The also announced an immediate termination of their deal with title sponsor ROKiT. The deal was extended through to the 2020 FIA Formula 1 World Championship. Chief executive officer, Mike O’Driscoll explained the deal was expected to run through till 2023.
O’Driscoll, revealed that fall in income was a result of a big blow in commercial rights income, due to the team’s lack of competitiveness.
The Team confirmed the termination in their statement saying: “The 2020 Formula 1 season has, of course, been disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and this will have an impact on our commercial rights income this year. The Team have also served notice to terminate its relationship with its title partner, ROKiT, and major sponsor, ROK Drinks.
“In common with many other businesses, we have taken extensive action to mitigate, including a prolonged furlough period for much of our staff. As this awful global crisis recedes, everyone at Williams Racing is looking forward to the start of the new season.”