Spyker buys Formula 1 team

Sports car maker Spyker has become the first Dutch company to run a Formula 1 racing team, with its purchase of Midland from Russian-born Canadian Alex Schnaider. Spyker is joining forces with Michiel Mol, founder of internet company Lost Boys, to buy Midland for some €84 mln.

Schnaider bought the team from Eddie Jordan in 2004.
Spyker, listed on the Amsterdam stock exchange since May 2004, will finance the takeover partly through the issue of €53 mln worth of new shares. Mol will buy the bulk of the shares, making him one of Spyker’s biggest shareholders. Muller said the Formula 1 deal, which will be financed in three stages, would contribute directly to earnings, ‘considering both Spyker and MF1 expect to be profitable this year.’ Spyker intends to use its new Formula 1 role to boost its international presence. The company currently produces some 100 sports cars a year, at upwards of €250,000 each. ‘We are a small brand with little money for marketing,’ Muller told the Volkskrant newspaper. ‘This deal gives us a piece of the biggest marketing machine on earth.’ Within two years, the Spyker MF1 team will be using cars which are ‘undeniably Spyker,’ Muller said. The Midland team includes Dutch driver Christijan Albers (photo), who came last in Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix. Midland’s other driver, Tiago Montiero, failed to finish.

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