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BREAKING: Williams team sold to Dorilton Capital

  • Published on 21 Aug 2020 10:50
  • comments 13
  • By: Priyantha Bleeker

The historic team of Sir Frank Williams has been acquired by Dorilton Capital, bringing a successful conclusion to the Strategic Review which was launched in late May. Dorilton Capital is known for its long-term approach to investment and its key focus will be to restore the competitiveness of the team.  This marks the beginning of an exciting new era in the history of Williams, which with its new owner, is now well positioned to capitalise upon the sweeping rule changes coming into Formula One with the new Concorde Agreement.

Strategic Review

As part of the Strategic Review, Williams together with the Group’s financial advisers, conducted a comprehensive review of all the options available to the Company, which included exploratory discussions with a series of potential investors. This strategic review has now successfully concluded and the Company is pleased to announce the sale of Williams Racing to Dorilton Capital. This Transaction received the unanimous support of the Board of Williams, including Sir Frank, who determined the Transaction delivers the best outcome for the Company’s shareholders and secures the long-term success of the Williams Formula 1 team.

Owned by a U.S. based capital investment firm

Dorilton Capital is a private investment firm headquartered in the United States with a strong track-record of building and enhancing companies with a flexible and patient investment style. Dorilton recognises and appreciates the importance of respecting and retaining Williams’ heritage and culture and is committed to maintaining its identity. The team will continue to race and compete under the Williams brand, with the chassis name remaining unchanged. Dorilton has no plans to re-locate the team from Grove, its traditional home.

New Concorde Agreement

The new Concorde Agreement is set to transform the sport and will help address the historical challenges that Williams has faced as an independent constructor, by reducing the financial and on-track disparities between teams and creating a fairer, more competitive sport. The new changes present an exciting opportunity for Williams, which together with the new ownership, will secure the long-term future of Williams at the pinnacle of motorsport.

Claire Williams comments on the event

Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal, commented: “The Strategic Review was a useful process to go through and proved that both Formula One and Williams have credibility and value.  We have now reached a conclusion and we are delighted that Dorilton are the new owners of the team. When we started this process, we wanted to find a partner who shared the same passion and values, who recognised the team’s potential and who could unlock its power. In Dorilton we know we have found exactly that. People who understand the sport and what it takes to be successful. People who respect the team’s legacy and will do everything to ensure it succeeds in the future. As a family we have always put our team first. Making the team successful again and protecting our people has been at the heart of this process from start. This may be the end of an era for Williams as a family owned team, but we know it is in good hands. The sale ensures the team’s survival but most importantly will provide a path to success. We are enormously grateful to Dorilton for the faith they have shown in our team and we look forward to working with them now. I would also like to thank the Williams Board and our advisers who have worked tirelessly over the past months to make this happen and our employees who have remained steadfastly loyal.”

CEO, Mike O'Driscoll comments

Mike O’Driscoll, CEO of Williams, commented: “The transaction announced today marks the next stage in the history of Williams Formula 1 at an exciting time in the sport. The Company has successfully completed its strategic review and we are pleased to announce the sale to Dorilton Capital, which delivers a great outcome for shareholders and secures the long term future of the Company.”

Chairman of Dorilton is delighted

Matthew Savage, Chairman of Dorilton Capital, commented: “We are delighted to have invested in Williams and we are extremely excited by the prospects for the business.  We believe we are the ideal partner for the company due to our flexible and patient investment style, which will allow the team to focus on its objective of returning to the front of the grid.  We look forward to working with the Williams team in carrying out a detailed review of the business to determine in which areas new investment should be directed.  We also recognise the world class facilities at Grove and confirm that there are no plans to relocate.”

Replies (13)

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  • JuJuHound

    Posts: 352

    I hope Dorilton Capital's second announcement will be: "We are grateful to Claire Williams for support and we wish here all the best in new challenges".

    • + 0
    • Aug 21 2020 - 12:17
    • Dert38

      Posts: 354

      Nah, this is family legacy, let's be honest with ourselfs ))) Also i love C. Williams :)

      • + 0
      • Aug 21 2020 - 13:55
    • siggy74

      Posts: 194

      Its a family that run the History into the floor ;p

      A team run by Fear, Inst a team that strives forward.... But a team that sinks to new lows.

      At best a couple more months, maybe 18 ;p before ends up like the rest that failed..

      • + 0
      • Aug 21 2020 - 15:27
    • Honestly that's the main thing I'm looking forward too. Claire needs to go

      • + 0
      • Aug 21 2020 - 16:42
  • Man that Martini livery was pretty....

    That aside, I'm not sure this is a comforting newspiece. I mean, yay they got saved this time, but what kinda saviour hide behind that mask? They have a pretty decent portfolio of owned or part-owned brands, but are they really ready to commit to F1, or is this another Rich Energy thing, but with bigger and realler bucks?

    • + 0
    • Aug 21 2020 - 16:21
    • Dorilton Capital is definitely a legit investment company. They are similar to private equity firms, but they usually maintain ownership for a lot longer, meaning they can focus on long term goals, as opposed to short term profitability. That being said, it's really all down to (1) proper management and (2) capital investments in the team.

      I think that #2 is definitely happening, #1 still TBD. Any plan that involves keeping Claire will be a sub-optimal plan

      • + 0
      • Aug 21 2020 - 17:45
    • Not necessarily, but it depends on what role they'll give her. Keep her on as a spoke's woman, but nothing major. Let someone like Zak Brown jump in and purify the team, rinse away the rot, bring in a little cleanliness.

      • + 2
      • Aug 21 2020 - 18:05
  • Very happy for the family - they have done their bit, and more, and now its time to hand over the reigns.

    Ironic that they have sold at a time when their more limited budget makes more sense following the new concord agreement - that of course is precisely why they have sold at this time as it make more financial sense to a new buyer. Mixed feelings tbh. I hope we continue to see CW on the grid.

    • + 1
    • Aug 21 2020 - 19:57
  • xoya

    Posts: 583

    This is the beggining of the end for Williams as we know it.

    Their legacy might survive but it will be invisible to the fans.
    Like BrawnGP's legacy at Mercedes.

    Hope that I am wrong, since my default views are always pessimistic, though.
    Once a great team for which some of the greatest champions drove. It's a great shame.

    Will they continue with placing Senna's "S" logo on their cars like they did ever since he died in FW16?

    • + 0
    • Aug 21 2020 - 20:14
  • f1ski

    Posts: 726

    RIP Williams

    • + 0
    • Aug 22 2020 - 05:51
  • f1ski

    Posts: 726

    reading Dorilton Capital's mission statement this deal goes counter to their philosophy.

    • + 1
    • Aug 22 2020 - 05:57
    • Yes, I can't work it out either. F1 is a terrible investment if your goal is simply to make money. My guess is that this is a man in the middle aquisition. Scathing cuts will be made at Grove, a known name installed as TD and then another sale in the not too distant future to a more known name....

      • + 0
      • Aug 23 2020 - 13:35
  • siggy74

    Posts: 194

    Adios Claire ;p

    At least Mr wolf got his 7 million back from Williams...... and covers the AML investment ;p

    • + 0
    • Sep 3 2020 - 18:44

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