As expected, Vijay Mallya and Michiel Mol have, in principle, completed their buy-out of the ailing Spyker F1 team, having agreed to pay a rumoured EUR88 million for the privilege.

The deal has been on the cards for several weeks, with Mallya confirming before the recent Italian and Belgian grands prix that he intended to take over the team, which ran into difficulty after Spyker's road car operation took a hit. Needing to make regular payments to previous owner Alex Shnaider, the Dutch owners had little option but to seek either a buyer or investor, with Indian millionaire Mallya stepping up in conjunction with existing shareholder Mol.

Spyker Cars NV has confirmed that the sale to Mallya, and Mol's Strongwind company, had been agreed in principle, although shareholders are expected to vote on the deal later this month. A statement from the Dutch concern confirmed that both parties had agreed on the main points under discussion after a 30-negotiation period, although the price involved has risen from an initial EUR80m to EUR88m, to cover payments to various creditors - including Strongwind - and Shnaider's Midland Group. The sale is also still pending various legal conditions, discussions on which continue.

"We obviously regret having to sell the Spyker F1 team, especially after the progress we showed at Spa and the promise of the revised B-spec car," commented Spyker Cars interim CEO Hans Hugenholtz.

"It has become increasingly clear that we could not continue to operate in both the world of Formula One as well as maintain the investments needed to grow and develop the road car division. Our first responsibility must always be to our investors, employees, dealers, suppliers and customers, and it is therefore time for us to return to our core activity."

The sale will mean that the team changes hands for the third time in as many years, with Mallya expected to apply for another name change, despite the Concorde Agreement limiting the number allowed within five years unless approved by rival teams. The Indian, who will become the new CEO of the operation - which is expected to remain based at Silverstone - is likely to petition for the title to reflect his other business operations, which include United Breweries and Kingfisher Airlines.



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