Sauber now owned by Longbow Finance
The struggling Sauber Formula One team announced a long-awaited change of ownership on Wednesday, with founder Peter Sauber retiring and handing over control to the Swiss investment firm Longbow Finance.
The Swiss team, based in Hinwil, said its name would stay the same and Monisha Kaltenborn will remain as principal and chief executive.
Longbow president Pascal Picci will replace Sauber, 72, as chairman of Sauber Holding, the company that controls the team and group.
“It is Longbow Finance S.A.’s clear intention to stabilise the group and create the basis for a competitive and successful future,” the team said in a statement before this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest.
“The transaction also secures the continuation of the brand Sauber in Formula One and will open opportunities to further grow the engineering activities of the group.”
Sauber, who entered Formula One in 1993 and won a race when it was owned by BMW, are the only team yet to score a point in 10 races this season. Sweden’s Marcus Ericsson and Brazilian Felipe Nasr are its drivers.
The team has also been struggling away from the track. Some staff salaries have been paid late, and it skipped this month’s in-season test at Silverstone to save money.
“We are convinced that Longbow Finance S.A. is the perfect partner to again make the team competitive and successful in Formula One,” said Kaltenborn.
“At the same time the new structure will allow us to finally further expand our third party business in which we commercialise our know-how.”
Little is known about Longbow Finance SA, which Bloomberg describes as a company that “provides financial services. The company is based in Lutry, Switzerland.”
The Sauber Group is pleased to announce the change of its ownership. Following the signing of the acquisition agreement with the current shareholders, Longbow Finance S.A. will fully acquire Sauber Holding AG which is the ultimate holding company of the Sauber Group. It is Longbow Finance S.A.’s clear intention to stabilise the group and create the basis for a competitive and successful future. This transaction also secures the continuation of the brand Sauber in Formula One and will open opportunities to further grow the engineering activities of the group. There will be no changes to either the company or the team name.
Peter Sauber will retire from all functions, being succeeded by Pascal Picci as Chairman of Sauber Holding A.G. Monisha Kaltenborn will remain as a member of the Board of Directors and continue to lead the company in her functions as CEO and Team Principal.
Pascal Picci, President & CEO, Longbow Finance S.A.:
“As a Swiss company, we are very pleased with having secured the future of a Swiss presence in a highly specialized and innovative industry.”
Monisha Kaltenborn, CEO and Team Principal:
“We are very pleased that by reaching an agreement with Longbow Finance S.A., we can secure the future of Sauber at the pinnacle of motorsport. We are convinced that Longbow Finance S.A. is the perfect partner to again make the team competitive and successful in Formula 1. At the same time the new structure will allow us to finally further expand our third party business in which we commercialise our know-how. This solution is in the best interest of our employees, partners, loyal suppliers, the base in Hinwil and for the Swiss motorsport. We are very grateful that Longbow Finance S.A.believes in the competences, efficiency and capabilities of Sauber Group, and we look forward to a new exciting future.”
Peter Sauber, President of the Board of Directors, Sauber Holding AG:
“Monisha Kaltenborn and I yesterday signed an agreement which secures the future of the Formula 1 Team and the Sauber Group. I am very happy that my courageous investment to buy the team back, which I made six years ago, with the intention to secure the base in Hinwil and the place in Formula 1 has proved to be correct.”
About Longbow Finance S.A.
Longbow Finance S.A. is incorporated as a Ltd / Société Anonyme / Aktiengesellschaft in Switzerland and active in financial investments since more than 20 years.