US-based investors buy F1 team Williams; no change in name, base

US-based investment firm Dorilton Capital has acquired Formula 1 team Williams.

Williams Racing has been acquired by Dorilton Capital, bringing a successful conclusion to the strategic review which was launched in late May.

Williams with its new owner will now be expected to be well-positioned to capitalise upon the sweeping rule changes coming into Formula One with the new Concorde Agreement.

As part of the strategic review, Williams together with the Group’s financial advisers had 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.

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, 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 is the new owner 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.”

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.”

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.”

The team under its new ownership will continue to race under the Williams name and remain at its English base in Oxfordshire.

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