LONDON May 3 Silverstone has reopened talks
with potential investors in the Formula One circuit after an
exclusivity agreement with an unidentified partner, believed to
be a Qatar-based group, ended without a deal.
The British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC), who own the
circuit that has a long-term contract to host the grand prix,
said in a statement on Thursday that negotiations with the
investor remained positive.
However, with the exclusivity period ending, it would
"broaden its search and engage with other interested parties".
Although the BRDC has never said who it signed the
exclusivity agreement with last year, media reports in Britain
have speculated it is the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA)
sovereign wealth fund.
PricewaterhouseCoopers are assisting and advising
Silverstone in the search for partners.
The owners want to lease their 760-acre estate in central
England for 150 years, in a deal that could be worth up to 250
million pounds ($405.10 million), to secure funding for
The BRDC has already funded a revamp of the circuit and a
new pit and paddock complex and wants to develop a centre for
high-technology motorsport, business and education.
"The commercial potential of Silverstone and the Estate is
significant and we are seeking external investment, from third
parties who share our vision, to help us realise that potential
more quickly," said BRDC chairman Stuart Rolt.
"While progress has, and is, being made with our original
preferred partner, negotiations have not yet developed into an
"As the period of exclusivity has come to a close we are now
speaking to other potential investors."
The circuit also hosts a round of the MotoGP motorcycling
world championship and World Superbike series and Rolt said it
had a secure future.
"If we cannot find a suitable partner we shall continue with
the development ourselves albeit at a slower pace," he added.
This year's Formula One race is on July 8.
($1 = 0.6171 British pounds)
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Tony Jimenez)