Bloomberg Anywhere Login

Bloomberg

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.

Company

Financial Products

Enterprise Products

Media

Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000

Communications

Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Williams F-1 Team Considers Listing on Stock Exchange

Frank Williams said, we “are examining this option closely and, if the environment is propitious, we may act in the near future.” Photographer: Mark Thompson/Getty Images
Frank Williams said, we “are examining this option closely and, if the environment is propitious, we may act in the near future.” Photographer: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Jan. 21 (Bloomberg) -- The Williams Formula One team’s founder is considering selling shares to the public to shore up its long-term future.

Frank Williams, 68, said in a statement today he intends to retain a controlling stake in the nine-time champion team even if the share sale goes ahead. Patrick Head and Toto Wolff are also shareholders.

We “are examining this option closely and, if the environment is propitious, we may act in the near future,” Williams said in the statement.

The team, founded in 1977, would become the first in the world’s most-watched auto racing series to list on the stock exchange. Several U.K. soccer clubs including Manchester United listed in the 1990s.

Grove, England-based Williams is investigating in which European country it would be best to hold the share sale, team spokesman Claire Williams said by telephone.

Williams won the last of its Formula One titles in 1997 and was the sixth-ranked team in last year’s championship, which won by Red Bull GmbH’s squad. The team, whose former drivers include Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, relies on sponsorship and prize money for most of its revenue.

Net income fell 50 percent to 4.5 million pounds ($7.2 million) on sales of 108 million pounds in 2009, the company’s latest published accounts show. The team also made a profit last year, Chairman Adam Parr said in the statement.

The last two years it diversified into developing energy-saving flywheel for road cars, collaborating with Porsche SE and Tata Motors Ltd.’s Jaguar Land Rover.

The project could be worth “many tens of millions” of pounds in the next three to five years, Parr said in an interview last year.

Williams, the owner, was paralyzed in a 1986 car crash. He said he wants the team “to go on racing long after I am gone,” adding he remains in good health.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Duff in Madrid at aduff4@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at at celser@bloomberg.net

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.