The fate of the German grand prix venue at the fabled Nurburgring is once again in serious doubt. Recently, we reported that after the embattled circuit was bought for a reported EUR 77 million, it was in the throes of promising talks with Bernie Ecclestone over a new long-term F1 race contract.
But it then emerged in late August that the buyer, a Dusseldorf company called Capricorn, had missed the deadline on its latest due payment to the Rhineland-Palatinate state. "We still expect the sale to go ahead," a spokesman for the financial recovery experts in charge of the Nurburgring insolvency said at the time.
But now, another alarming report about the health of the Nurburgring buyout deal has emerged. The respected German business magazine Wirtschaftswoche claims Deutsche Bank has withdrawn its financing for the Capricorn transaction, meaning a new buyer for the Nurburgring is now being sought.
The news could become official later on Wednesday, when the European Commission rules on whether the Capricorn deal is even lawful. A spokesman for the liquidator told Wirtschaftswoche that he could not comment for reasons of "confidentiality". Deutsche Bank also would not comment.
But the report said the liquidator has already been in talks with alternative buyers, last Thursday in Berlin and on Monday in London. A spokesman for HIG Capital, a US-based group, said: "We have the money and we stand by our (previous) offer." (GMM)