The troubled Sauber team has finally secured a deal to safeguard its future with a sale to Swiss investment company Longbow Finance.
The team admitted some weeks ago that a “solution” was at hand, but no details had been forthcoming. Since BMW pulled out at the end of 2009 the team has been owned by founder Peter Sauber and team principal Monisha Kaltenborn.
Sauber, who has always been reluctant to sell, will retire and leave his role as chairman, and will be succeeded by Longbow’s Pascal Picci. Kaltenborn will stay on a team principal.
In a statement the team said that it is Longbow’s “clear intention to stabilise the group and create the basis for a competitive and successful future. This transaction also secures the continuation of the brand Sauber in Formula One and will open opportunities to further grow the engineering activities of the group. There will be no changes to either the company or the team name.”
“We are very pleased that by reaching an agreement with Longbow Finance S.A., we can secure the future of Sauber at the pinnacle of motorsport,” said Kaltenborn. “We are convinced that Longbow Finance S.A. is the perfect partner to again make the team competitive and successful in Formula 1. At the same time the new structure will allow us to finally further expand our third party business in which we commercialise our know-how.
“This solution is in the best interest of our employees, partners, loyal suppliers, the base in Hinwil and for the Swiss motorsport. We are very grateful that Longbow Finance S.A.believes in the competences, efficiency and capabilities of Sauber Group, and we look forward to a new exciting future.”
Peter Sauber added: “Monisha Kaltenborn and I yesterday signed an agreement which secures the future of the Formula 1 Team and the Sauber Group. I am very happy that my courageous investment to buy the team back, which I made six years ago, with the intention to secure the base in Hinwil and the place in Formula 1 has proved to be correct.”