F1 » Official: Williams to float on Frankfurt Stock Exchange

"Williams Grand Prix Holdings PLC (Williams) confirms its intention to launch its Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange."

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puttenham - Unregistered

February 05, 2011 2:36 AM

I think Justin Wilson did something similar years ago. I met several of his shareholders at Road America who told me about it. Also, the Green Bay Packers, an American rules prefessional football team is organized this way and extremely successful. I do not think that the Packers stock is traded on a stock exchange. It was all a private placement that was fully subscribed in a matter of hours. Yes, I will probably become a Williams shareholder.

Kiko - Unregistered

February 05, 2011 10:27 AM

Is this purely Williams Formula 1 team, or do you get a share in the whole Williams Engineering side?

I can see a manufacturer wanting to buy Williams, so could be a smart investment. If you get Williams Engineering aswell then you get to invest in their KERS Flywheel project etc which is in the GT racing...

Alan D - Unregistered

February 05, 2011 9:51 PM

Artov: "So the FTSE is not good enough!"

Apparently there is an article in today's FT (which I haven't seen myself), which suggests the different rules of disclosure on the Frankfurt exchange may be more suitable for Williams.

The share sale will amount to 27% of Group Williams, so Frank Williams will be retaining a controlling share. In answer to Kiko's question above, I'm guessing that Group Williams means both the F1 team and the engineering division.

Googolplex - Unregistered

February 06, 2011 11:44 AM

Apparently they are not going to be using any of the money raised to capitalise the team, but rather the purpose is to broaden the shareholder base "to secure the future" of Williams. Therefore, I seems that Frank is cashing in part of his shareholding but at the same time still retaining control. The ongoing operational costs will go up because of the compliance costs of being a publicly listed company. I am at a loss to see how this is good for Willaims long term future where there is no corresponding benefit of an increased capital base or reduction of debt.

Alan D - Unregistered

February 06, 2011 12:49 PM

Goo, according to Reuters, the shares they are selling are coming from the currently unissued shares. When companies are set up it is common to have a pool of unissued shares that can be used later on like this. So no, it isn't Frank or Patrick cashing in. I think the capital goes into Williams Group Holdings rather than directly into the F1 team and maybe the intention is to use the capital to pay off existing debts such as mortgages, bank loans etc.

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