Sauber's Formula 1 future appears to have been secured after it announced the team has been acquired by Swiss financial services company Longbow Finance S.A. in a deal that will see Monisha Kaltenborn stay on but Peter Sauber retire.
Following months of uncertainty in the wake of much publicised financial struggles, Sauber had nonetheless hinted in recent weeks that salvation was on the horizon in the form of a 'mystery investor', but it wasn't clear when this would be made public.
Sauber has now revealed this to be Longbow Finance, a Swiss-based financial services company which has fully acquired Sauber Holding AG, owner of the Sauber Group.
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As part of the deal, the Sauber name will not
be changed to reflect the change of ownership, but eponymous founder and group president Peter Sauber has opted to 'retire from all functions' to be succeeded by Longbow Finance's Pascal Picci.
“As a Swiss company, we are very pleased with having secured the future of a Swiss presence in a highly specialised and innovative industry,” he said.
Monisha Kaltenborn, meanwhile, will stay on in her current role as team principal and is delighted to have helped secure a brighter outlook for one of F1's longest-serving teams.
“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.
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“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.”
Making its F1 debut in 1993, Sauber has existed in many guises over the years as a pure privateer entry to enjoying several years of success in collaboration with BMW.
Nevertheless, the new deal will come as some relief to Sauber after a difficult first-half of the 2016 season on and off track, with reports of unpaid salaries coming amidst its struggles for competiveness. After 10 races, Sauber is now the only team to have not scored a point in 2016.
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