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For Sale: One Formula One Team, Slightly Used – Williams

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The Williams Formula One team – along with their company group – have been put up for sale.

Deputy team principal Claire Williams, the daughter of company founder Sir Frank Williams, issued a statement: “Frank has always ensured he puts the team, business and our people first, and that’s what we’re doing now.”

Sir Frank, 78, is no longer involved in the day-to-day running of the team and ceded operational duties to Claire in 2013, who says the move is an attempt to try and secure internal investment.

The company said in the statement that they were considering “various strategic options… including but not limited to raising new capital for the business, a divestment of a minority stake in Williams Grand Prix Holdings, or a divestment of a majority stake in WGPH including a potential sale of the whole company”.

The company went on to say that they were “not in receipt of any [acquisitional] approaches at the time of this announcement” but that they are “in preliminary discussions with a small number of parties regarding a potential investment”.

Claire Williams said she hopes to complete the process by the end of summer and that the team is “fully funded throughout the remainder of this year”.

In both 2018 and 2019, Williams finished last in the constructors’ championship – leading to a significant drop in income – and was looking at another potential last-place finish in 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic altered the season. Williams has also announced that they had terminated their sponsorship arrangements with telecommunications company, Rokit, “effective immediately”.

Williams had enjoyed success in Formula 1 – but it was way back in the day – specifically, the 1980s and 1990s – but except for a few brief blips of success from 2014-17, when they finished third twice and then fifth twice, the team has been a reliably consistent back marker.

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