Williams Racing has been acquired by US investment firm Dorilton Capital for £136.5 million, signalling an end of an era for the family-owned Formula 1 team.
Dorilton Capital is known for its long-term approach to investment and its key focus will be to restore the competitiveness of the team. The acquisition marks the beginning of an exciting new era in the history of Williams, which with its new owner, is now well positioned to capitalise upon the sweeping rule changes coming into Formula 1 with the new Concorde Agreement.
As part of the Strategic Review, Williams together with the Group’s financial advisers, conducted a comprehensive review of all the options available to the Company, which included exploratory discussions with a series of potential investors.
This acquisition received the unanimous support of the Board of Williams, including Sir Frank Williams, who determined it would secure the long-term success of the F1 team.
The team will continue to race and compete under the Williams brand, with the chassis name remaining unchanged. Dorilton has no plans to re-locate the team from Grove (between Oxford and Newbury), its traditional home.
Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal, commented: “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 recognised 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 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.”
Matthew Savage, Chairman of Dorilton Capital, commented: “We are delighted to have invested in Williams and we are extremely excited by the prospects for the business. 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.
“We look forward to working with the Williams team in carrying out a detailed review of the business to determine in which areas new investment should be directed. We also recognise the world class facilities at Grove and confirm that there are no plans to relocate.”
Author: James Parker