Toro Rosso shares sold

The word on the harbour front in Monte Carlo is that the Abu Dhabi investment company Aabar Investments has bought shares in Scuderia Toro Rosso. The team is saying nothing at the moment, but multiple well-placed sources say that a deal is done. The Italian team announced a sponsorship deal last week with Falcon Private Bank, which is a Swiss private bank which specialises in wealth management for private clients, such as Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz. The reality is that Falcon is owned by Aabar, which has discovered Formula 1 through its investment in Mercedes GP Petronas in the course of the last 18 months. Aabar is an investment company and the likelihood is that investment in the team is simply strategic and will be like the deal Credit Suisse deal that was done some years ago by Sauber, which left the management in place and gave the bank publicity. The stake was later sold to BMW.

Aabar is ultimately controlled by the Abu Dhabi government, but that is done through the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), another government investment business which has dealings in the oil world. In February, for example, it bought the Spanish oil company CEPSA from France’s Total for a deal worth $5 billion. It would be no surprise, therefore, to see the Spanish company branding appearing on the Toro Rossos in the months ahead. This will increase Spanish interest in the team, specifically in Jaime Alguersuari. Cepsa runs a network of 1,700 service stations in Spain and would probably benefit from F1 kind of exposure. It remains to be seen what other brands might appear but Aabar also owns shares in Santander Brazil and various other companies. IPIC owns shares in a variety of other businesses, including several Austrian firms, OMV oils and the Borealis petrochemical company. Other investments have been made in Cosmo Oil in Japan, Germany’s Ferrostaal, Canada’s Nova chemicals and various power companies.

It is also worth noting that Aabar has also launched a €750 million bond issue, which are exchangeable for shares in Daimler AG. Aabar bought the Daimler state in March 2009 for $2.7 billion. The bond issue covers 1.1 percent of Daimler’s shares. Aabar currently owns nine percent of the German company, in addition to its investment in the Mercedes F1 team. The longterm implications of such an investment could be such things as a Mercedes engine deal for the team, or perhaps a junior team status with Mercedes. It remains to be seen what becomes reality but the investment seems to have been made.

21 thoughts on “Toro Rosso shares sold

    1. RobbieMeister,

      Someone is stealing my work and that of Andrew and Jake and pretending we are contributors. The others on the list are not real F1 people, but pretending to be. Internet wanabes.

  1. Joe:

    when you say “shares were sold” do you mean the entirety of Toro Rosso shares or some percentage?…if its the later, what kind of percentage are we talking about?

    1. mr_ten,

      I do not know the answer because, funnily enough, they do not tell the media these sort of things. I am digging up stories which no-one else is finding, so you must appreciate that sometimes one cannot get the full story. If I could I would tell you. I think alos that perhaps you do not appreciate how difficult it is to these things.

  2. NASCAR >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> F1

    Dale Jr would whoop vettels b*tt if they let him in F1. They are all just to afraid to let someone with that much talent in F1

    1. buddy,

      An interesting belief you have there. It might help your argument if he could match his own team-mates in NASCAR before moving on to dominate the best of the best in F1.

  3. Looking to the long game, with the groundwork laid for a new Mercedes junior team, if I were Vijay Mallya I would be rather worried about my engine supply…

    Hopefully the name and livery change in short order. Maybach, anyone?

    Or what would be really interesting would be to name the team Tesla, and make KERS (and whatever subsequent electric power-assist comes along) the focus of their marketing and technology.

    Which would make Uncle Bernard really blow a gasket… all the more reason to support it…

  4. Joe,
    By reading the news lately, i feel like the power of the OPEC dollars are buying everything that is branded F1 and is available on the market… and i know that they have been present since the old days, heck there’s even Bin Laden sign on the Williams FW07, but lately it’s more than just sponsorship
    I start to wonder that the likes of Mubadala, Aabar etc. will be the balance of the equation if CVC decides to sell to Exxor. And with Ferrari having their theme park in Abu Dhabi, the connection between Aabar and Merc, the Williams tech center in Qatar, the partly ownership of Mclaren it’s all shaping to become an ousting of Bernie and a new company which will give them bigger access to the lion’s share of the prize pool.

    Otherwise it’s amusing to read, watch and enjoy the F1 circus and it’s art of making the mega rich throwing millions at each other… the peak is always around this weekend at the harbour of Monte Carlo

  5. I’ve heard that Mr. E is thinking of buying back the commercial rights, with the obligatory help of the Abu Dhabi investment fund of course.

  6. @Alex N.

    It is similar to the “Germanisation” of F1 in the mid to late ’90’s once Michael Schumacher became successful.

    The sovereign wealth funds have, literally, been taking over the world since the 2008 banking meltdown. As with the current situation in Bahrain, it is a lot easier and profitable for these funds to buy shares in Western companies than to provide health care and a decent standard of living to all sections of their population. If the UK had applied the same rules to their share of North Sea oil wealth, Scotland would have been wealthier than Kuwait (according to BBC’s “Scotland’s oil”). Apparently we used it up on unemployment benefit in the 1980’s…

    Sorry Joe for venting and to read that your post has been plagerised (my site was plagerised once for a racing driver’s eBay advert – how humiliating!).

  7. Joe:

    Im sorry if I gave you the impression that I do not appreciate the articles that you post here and the work that goes on behind the scenes in order to put them together.

    I asked the question because I was wondering about the nature of the acquisition, you hinted at major plans with the buying of the shares but since the details about the percentage of the purchase where fuzzy, I asked so I could get a clearer picture of whats going on. At no time was I implying that the facts might not be right or that you were lazy in giving us the full information.

    The reality is that I ask these questions because you seem to be one of the few straight and forward people in F1 journalism today and thusly are more inclined to answer the question truthfully, or without a major bias. I very much value you work, that is why I read your blog every day, as an F1 fan I count you as a huge resource into a world whose communications are marred with corporate and personal interests.

  8. Joe,

    You say about the possibility of Cepsa branding appearing on STR cars in the future. I have always wondered why STR has never had Repsol branding since Alguersuari joined? He has been heavily backed by Repsol in junior formulae so I am very surprised it doesn’t seem to have continued in F1. Is it something to do with a conflict of interest with STR’s fuel supplier?

  9. buddy,

    for extreme contingencies such as you suggest, i am perfecting my fake French accent.

    excuse me whilst i go train my (obviously Gay) Alsatians 🙂

    p.s. i like NASCAR, and welcome the cultural challenge . .

    in jest,

    – johnny “kid” . . .

  10. Well there go my wish of Paul Stoddart buying TR back and we seeing Miniardi on the grid again….

  11. Oh, and P.S.,

    i know ther DMCA pape can go nowhere,

    but you can, i assure you, shut down the entire upstream ISP netblock if they ignore reason. Which pisses people, including innocents quite a bit. (I’ve no qualms about that, just pushes honest people to honest suppliers) Bit further, i like to hit up their transit and peers on notice. Notice generally removes common carrier status. Knowing how this network thing works is scary. Real network engineers want nothing to do with crap customers.

    rant mode halted!

    OK, last rant: when people pollute good systems, they make it much harder for genuine communication to protect itself. There, that’s my public defender bit done for today!

    1. Joan,

      Never heard of the guy. I expect he is just another of these copiers, who is trying to make out that they are real F1 journalists. There are plenty of them who do not have access to a pitpass, even if their names suggest that they do.

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