As reported late last month, the Midland team had been in distress for some time and the sale to Spyker comes as no surprise as the automaker sought to expand its motorsports cache beyond the endurance events it currently participates in. The group will retain its team principle, Colin Kolles, however, Michiel Mol (yes, Michiel, not Michael) will fill the position of Director of F1 Racing and Mike Gascoyne will take over as Chief Technology Officer.
What's it cost to buy an ailing Formula One team? In this case, Midland handed over the keys for US$106.6 million, which will be broken up into three payments over the next year, with no interest being accrued.
Engine selection is the next major decision for the team, as their current supplier, Toyota, has already penned a deal with Williams for next year and their contract with Midland is set to expire at the end of the 2007 season. Rumors are being circulated that Ferrari may come in with the required V8, although if Spyker would begin to use the Italian's engines in their production vehicles, say, in their D12 Peking-to-Paris luxury 'ute, the prancing horse may be able to cut them a deal. We can only hope.
[Sources: Grandprix.com and Formula1.com]
The full press release can be found after the jump.
PRESS RELEASE: SPYKER ACQUIRES MIDLAND MF1 RACING
Monza, Italy, September 10, 2006 - - Spyker Cars N.V. ("Spyker") manufacturer of high-end sport cars today announced that it has acquired Midland F1 Racing Limited ("MF1 Racing") of Silverstone, United Kingdom from Midland Resources Holding Ltd.
* Team to be called Spyker MF1 Racing and will be a 100% subsidiary of Spyker.
* Michiel Mol to join the Management Board of both Spyker and Spyker MF1 Racing as Director of Formula One Racing.
* Mike Gascoyne becomes Spyker MF1 Racing's Chief Technology Officer effective November 1, 2006.
* Colin Kolles remains Team Principal of Spyker MF1 Racing.
* Fred Mulder to join the Supervisory Board of Spyker.
* Acquisition to be finalized by September 30, 2006.
* Transaction to be financed by means of a fully underwritten share issue of 2,650.000 shares at € 20 per share (totally 53 million euros, the majority of which will be taken up by Michiel Mol), in addition to an interest free vendor loan for the remainder. The new shares represent 40% of all outstanding shares after the share issue.
* All new issued shares shall have a 180 days lock-up.
* The enterprise value for MF1 Racing amounts to US$ 106.6 million payable as follows:
- Initial payment upon closing per September 30, 2006 of US$ 68.6 million.
- First deferred payment of US$ 15 (fifteen, ignore the four) million payable on the first anniversary of closing.
- Second deferred payment of US$ 23 million payable on the second anniversary of closing.
* Earnings per share in the book year 2006 will increase as a consequence of the MF1 Racing acquisition and Spyker Cars expects to be profitable this year.
* Transaction subject to approval by the Extraordinary Shareholders Meeting of Spyker Cars N.V. to be held in Zeewolde on Wednesday September 27, 2006 at 14:00 hours.
*Announcement on 2007 engine supply agreement to follow shortly.
Victor R. Muller, Chief Executive Officer of Spyker Cars N.V. and Spyker MF1 Racing stated: "Since we started the company in 2000 we have seen tremendous growth consistently year on year, basically doubling production every year. In order to maintain a strong growth path for a company with relatively limited means for marketing, the entry into the Formula One arena is an unparalleled way to both underline Spyker's commitment to racing and to benefit from a massive increase in brand awareness around the globe. It is my strong conviction that Formula One racing transmits values which are entirely in line with our brand values: heritage (as early as 1903 Spyker built the famous six cylinder four wheel drive 60HP Grand Prix racer), design, craftsmanship, performance and exclusivity. Moreover we expect that the Spyker road cars will seriously benefit from the F1 technology that we now have in-house. I am so proud of our team that worked around the clock to make this deal happen. It proves that the logo introduced in 1914 'nulla tenaci invia est via' still holds true today: for the tenacious no road is impassable. We welcome with open arms our new partner Michiel Mol who will join me on the Management Board of Spyker and Spyker MF1. His passion and business sense have paved the way for this transaction. He will make a major contribution to the overall success of both Spyker and Spyker MF1."
Michiel Mol, future Director of Formula One Racing of Spyker and Spyker MF1 Racing stated: "Today my lifelong ambition became reality. After being involved with Formula One as a sponsor
of teams and drivers for almost 10 years I will now participate as a shareholder in a very ambitious manufacturer owned Formula One Team. Formula One has developed as a challenging platform for building global brands. The new regulations will make this high-profile sport even more attractive. I will definitely use all my skills and experience in digital media to make the team one of the most dynamic and appealing for fans and sponsors. The Spyker brand values fit perfectly with F1 and my vision. I look forward to working together with Victor Muller. What he achieved by reintroducing the most famous Dutch car manufacturer brand is impressive. F1 will help to make Spyker even more credible and successful. However, we are not in F1 to be in F1. We are in F1 to win. I would like to thank Alex Shnaider and Midland Group for doing such a good job to improve the team and giving us a solid platform from which to launch our program. Without their efforts, none of this would be possible. Mike Gascoyne joining us is a milestone and the ultimate proof of our ambitions. Together with Colin Kolles he will be able to build a winning team. Hopefully it will not take too long before we hear the Dutch anthem in Formula One for the first time ever. I have a new challenge and nothing is impossible."
Colin Kolles, Team Principal of Spyker MF1 Racing stated: "I am happy that the deal has gone through. The acquisition by Spyker as a sportscar manufacturer is the next step toward helping the team improve its results. The fact that we have also been able to secure the services of Mike Gascoyne, who will work in collaboration with James Key, clearly demonstrates the team's ongoing commitment to the strongest possible technical direction. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Alex Shnaider for his continuing support. Had Midland not stepped in and rescued the Jordan team in February 2005, we would not be in a position to announce this deal today. His investments and commitment to improving the team's performance have enabled us to push forward, and for that, we are all extremely grateful."
Mike Gascoyne, Spyker MF1 Racing future Chief Technology Officer stated: "I have only recently met Victor Muller and Michiel Mol and they impressed me enormously with their commitment to Formula One and performance program. Naturally I am delighted to come back to Formula One to a wonderfully challenging opportunity. I know and respect many of the people at Silverstone from my time there previously and I am confident that we will be able to deliver results."
Bernie Ecclestone, President FOM stated: "This is great news for Formula One. The entry of another car manufacturer is a further endorsement of the global appeal of the sport."