Vijay Mallya has elected to sell a stake in the Force India F1 team after confirmation that Sahara India Pariwar, a leading promoter and patron of sports in India, has made an equity investment in the Silverstone-based squad.
The deal, worth $100 million, will see Sahara India Pariwar and Mallya each own a 42.5 per cent stake in the team with the remaining 15 per cent remaining in the hands of the Mol family – who were co-owners when the team was still referred to as Spyker.
Following the agreement, which was confirmed in a press conference in New Delhi, the team will now be known as Sahara Force India F1, with Mallya welcoming the new investment.
“I am delighted to welcome Saharasri Subrata Roy Sahara as Chairman of Sahara Force India,” he said. “It has indeed been a matter of pride for me to put India on the F1 map with Force India and raise the performance of the team to its current levels.
“The Sahara Group has played a very important role in the development of sport in the country and is an ideal partner to take the Force India F1 Team to greater success in the Formula One World Championship".
Sahara boss Subrata Roy was also delighted to announce the deal, which comes just week before India hosts an F1 event for the first time.
“India is reaching new heights in all spheres, including sports,” he said. “Formula One car racing has always remained a bastion of the western world. The advent of India in this exciting sport has remained a matter of pride for all our countrymen.
“I feel doubly proud that Sahara is the co-owner of India's only F1 team and I am sure that through the Sahara Force India F1 Team, we will together bring pride and laurels to our beloved nation.”
The announcement comes just days after Mallya denied reports that the team was for sale [See seperate story HERE