Sold: Hispania Racing changes hands
Perennial backmarker and occasional laughing stock HRT has been sold to Spanish investment firm and pizza chain owners Thesan Capital today.
HRT, Formula One’s first Spanish racing team, had been rumoured to have finalised a deal with Japanese bank Nomura but revealed this evening a deal to keep the team exclusively Spanish.
The deal sees team owner José Ramón Carabante lose his majority share in Grupo Hispania – the company with the controlling stake in HRT’s racing licence – but will stay on as director in the short term.
‘The Spanish investment group will lead the development of Hispania Racing in the upcoming years, maintaining the current team and directors, which is one of the main assets of the company, and will try to develop and search for opportunities to optimize and improve the performance of the team in the upcoming seasons, alongside progressively making the team more Spanish and definitively settling the team in Spain,’ read a press release from HRT.
‘The Thesan Capital team, who consider the acquisition of Hispania Racing as an opportunity to enter a sector with great prospects of growing, will work with the aim of strengthening the strategic management of the group.’
The investment firm eventually aims to move the team’s operations to Spain – HRT is currently based in Greding, Germany, where it utilises facilities owned by Colin Kolles.
Thesan Capital, which incidentally also owns a Spanish pizza chain, ‘does not invest in “start-ups”’, according to Hispania.
‘Thesan Capital focuses on opportunities in all sectors with a general approach,’ HRT expalined in its press statement.
‘It carries out control investments, both in companies with a solid base that need a strong strategic reshuffle linked with an operational and/or financial restructure.
‘The firm has ample experience in complex and special situations.’
While Thesan Capital has guaranteed that the board controlling HRT will be maintained this season, it is expected that changes will be made come 2012.
Current speculation suggests that this could see Cabarante lose control over his plans to install his son – also Jose – as team principal, and may be stood down.
It remains unclear whether Kolles’ job is secure under the new management structure.