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Significant interest in buying Super Aguri's facilities?


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#1 anbeck

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 16:21

Hi there,

http://www.autosport...rt.php/id/67197 says that there has already been significant interest in buying what is left of SA's F1 project.

I just wonder, why anybody would buy his team instead of Toro Rosso? TR has been a 100% "real" F1 team when it was Minardi. They have actually built cars from scratch.

SA on the other hand just rebranded Honda cars. The most interesting assett he is selling is certainly his place in the F1 circus. Given the end of customer teams, who might want to buy SA if there's a chance to get Toro Rosso, which should be able to produce a car on its own?

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#2 rhm

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 16:42

I'll give them a tenner for it.;)


I believe that now they have (or will have anyway) missed races, SA's entry is void. And even if not, a buyer would have to buy SA outright, including all it's liabilities, rather than just buying it's assets. Case in point, remember the guy that bought some of the bankrupt assets of Prost thinking he could enter the old car and pick up Prost's share of the money from the previous season? Wasn't allowed.

Having said that, there's space on the grid now and as long as a buyer could put together a good enough package to convince Bernie they would last the season and enter next year, the FIA would probably allow an entry.

As you say though, a more viable operation is Toro Rosso, but we don't know how much they are asking - a lot more than the administrators of SA are I'd wager.

#3 Timstr11

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 17:01

Originally posted by rhm


As you say though, a more viable operation is Toro Rosso, but we don't know how much they are asking - a lot more than the administrators of SA are I'd wager.

So what facilities does Toro Rosso have other than production facilities. Does anyone know?
The past few years no designs have been coming out of there as we all know.

#4 Timstr11

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 18:00

I somehow doubt Minardi as more or better facilities than Super Aguri.

I do have theory about going into administation and the sale of Leafield though.

Until yesterday there were two F1 team entries (remember the U$ 48 mil needed to enter the series) for sale, which were both competing with each other on the market.

Now that SA has withdrawn from F1, it now only leaves Torro Rosso with an F1 entry + Faenza factory + Leafied factory on the market.

I daresay the Leafield premises are more attractive (e.g. due to the location in motorsport valley). Also remember the discussion a few years ago about closing Faenza and moving to the UK.

If I was a prospective buyer, I would buy Toro Rosso, close the Faenza factory (which is desperately in need of heavy investments anyway) and move the premises to Leafield where I have access to a skilled workforce and not too bad facilities.

In the end the current SA workforce could have a better chance at survival albeit at the expense of the Toro Rosso workforce in Faenza.

#5 Mark A

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 18:06

Super Aguri share premises with Ultramotive and other companies which are part of the Magma group so I doubt the premises will be up for sale as I don't believe SA owned them.

#6 F1 Engineer

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 18:10

Originally posted by Mark A
Super Aguri share premises with Ultramotive and other companies which are part of the Magma group so I doubt the premises will be up for sale as I don't believe SA owned them.

I was under the impression that Super Aguri owned a portion of the Leafield complex - there's a number of companies based there, not all of whom are Magma-owned, right?

#7 Timstr11

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 18:11

Originally posted by Mark A
Super Aguri share premises with Ultramotive and other companies which are part of the Magma group so I doubt the premises will be up for sale as I don't believe SA owned them.

From the autosport.com news item:

In a statement, joint administrator Philip Long said: "This provides a unique opportunity to get into high-level motorsport without having to build an operation from scratch. In terms of capability, a new team could easily be up and running for the 2009 season. "Virtually everything is in place including the people, the technical expertise, the premises, and testing facilities. A new team could walk in and take over a fully operational unit from day one and I'm pleased that there has already been significant interest."

Even if the actual building is leased, from this I gather that it is the intention to sell the operation as it is now.

#8 Josta

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 18:12

The Super Aguri facilities include manufacturing legacies from Arrows, much the same as the TR facilities include manufacturing legacies from Minardi. If I were to choose, I would go for the ex Arrows, SA facility because it is based in the motorsports region, as opposed to being off in Italy.

#9 Gareth

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 18:15

Originally posted by Mark A
Super Aguri share premises with Ultramotive and other companies which are part of the Magma group so I doubt the premises will be up for sale as I don't believe SA owned them.

I think you are correct. The other security registered against Super Aguri (other than the Honda GP Limited security agreement) is a rent deposit deed in favour of MENARD ENGINEERING LIMITED. A quick google search on them has their premises at Leafield. So it looks like Super Aguri rent the premesis off Menard Engineering Limited.

The lease could be an asset that could be sold by the company, although the insolvency almost certainly means Menard Engineering could terminate the lease if it wanted to. Depends, I guess, if they have other prospective tenants or whether they would like Super Aguri's successor to continue to rent from them.

#10 Jerome

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 18:15

But the question is, again: isn't the Super Aguri entrance void? Would you not have to fork up the 50 million if you want to enter in 2009?

#11 Mark A

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 18:21

Originally posted by Gareth
I think you are correct. The other security registered against Super Aguri (other than the Honda GP Limited security agreement) is a rent deposit deed in favour of MENARD ENGINEERING LIMITED. A quick google search on them has their premises at Leafield. So it looks like Super Aguri rent the premesis off Menard Engineering Limited.

The lease could be an asset that could be sold by the company, although the insolvency almost certainly means Menard Engineering could terminate the lease if it wanted to. Depends, I guess, if they have other prospective tenants or whether they would like Super Aguri's successor to continue to rent from them.


I thought so.

Menard bought TWR and then were bought by Magma, interesting to hear that the premises at Leafield are still officially owned by Menard as I thought the Menard name disappeared when Magma bought them.

#12 Gareth

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 18:24

Originally posted by Mark A


I thought so.

Menard bought TWR and then were bought by Magma, interesting to hear that the premises at Leafield are still officially owned by Menard as I thought the Menard name disappeared when Magma bought them.

You're right - the company remains but is now renamed Ultramotive Limited.

#13 Timstr11

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 18:56

Originally posted by Jerome
But the question is, again: isn't the Super Aguri entrance void? Would you not have to fork up the 50 million if you want to enter in 2009?

I believe so, yes. So taking over the SA operation would not be enough. Which is where Toro Rosso comes in.

The buyer would only be interested in the Toro Rosso entry. By buying that entry, the new prospective team avoids the lengthy and difficult process of going to FOM and FIA to apply for a new entry and suffer the scrutiny of the FIA and all the other teams before getting the nod (remember what SA had to go through to get their entry back in 2005).

#14 Dudley

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 19:43

Originally posted by anbeck
Hi there,

http://www.autosport...rt.php/id/67197 says that there has already been significant interest in buying what is left of SA's F1 project.

I just wonder, why anybody would buy his team instead of Toro Rosso? TR has been a 100% "real" F1 team when it was Minardi. They have actually built cars from scratch.

SA on the other hand just rebranded Honda cars. The most interesting assett he is selling is certainly his place in the F1 circus. Given the end of customer teams, who might want to buy SA if there's a chance to get Toro Rosso, which should be able to produce a car on its own?


And SA own everything Arrows did, and they built cars.

STR cannot design and build a car properly on their own. They have no windtunnel and a lot of Minardi's work was done in England by the end. A 1980s spec F1 factory is barely worth more than nothing and is probably nothing more than Aguri had.

Until yesterday there were two F1 team entries (remember the U$ 48 mil needed to enter the series) for sale, which were both competing with each other on the market.

The $48m thing no longer exists I believe.

#15 Josta

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 20:01

Originally posted by Jerome
But the question is, again: isn't the Super Aguri entrance void? Would you not have to fork up the 50 million if you want to enter in 2009?


After 2006, the 50 mil entrance requirement was scrapped. Super Aguri will be the last team to ever have to pay this, (which gets repaid anyway).

#16 Timstr11

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 20:10

Originally posted by Dudley



The $48m thing no longer exists I believe.

Ok, I missed that one.

#17 Jerome

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 20:14

Originally posted by Timstr11
Ok, I missed that one.


No I am really confused. So why doesn't Weigl buy Super Aguri now, apply for 2009, and even race the current Super Aguri cars? Perhaps, with a little luck, the rules for 2010 about customercars can again chance.

#18 Josta

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 20:23

Originally posted by Jerome


No I am really confused. So why doesn't Weigl buy Super Aguri now, apply for 2009, and even race the current Super Aguri cars? Perhaps, with a little luck, the rules for 2010 about customercars can again chance.


I have a feeling that the Weigl offer depended on free supply of Honda engines and substantial help from Honda in other areas.

#19 Jerome

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 20:27

Originally posted by Josta


I have a feeling that the Weigl offer depended on free supply of Honda engines and substantial help from Honda in other areas.


Mmm... I think that Weigl wanted to buy Super Aguri, but not pay the debt. I think the deal was something like: 'I keep SA running by financing the rest of this season, and Honda F1 racing forget about 100 mill or so...'

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#20 Josta

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 20:49

Originally posted by Jerome


Mmm... I think that Weigl wanted to buy Super Aguri, but not pay the debt. I think the deal was something like: 'I keep SA running by financing the rest of this season, and Honda F1 racing forget about 100 mill or so...'


I think you may well be right.

#21 prxty

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 21:00

Originally posted by Josta
The Super Aguri facilities include manufacturing legacies from Arrows, much the same as the TR facilities include manufacturing legacies from Minardi. If I were to choose, I would go for the ex Arrows, SA facility because it is based in the motorsports region, as opposed to being off in Italy.

Well, in the area of Faenza there is Ferrari and Ducati. And probably many other motorsport companies. I don't think it is so bad.

#22 pingu666

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 21:15

some other bike teams there too... racing has moved away from britain abit, i think

#23 Josta

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 21:19

Originally posted by prxty

Well, in the area of Faenza there is Ferrari and Ducati. And probably many other motorsport companies. I don't think it is so bad.


Ferrari is Ferrari. Ferrari has Marlboro and Fiat backing to give it a world class operation. Other than that, you need to be based in England to have access to the best facilities. The only other team to be based outside of the motorsport stronghold is Toyota, who despite chucking billions at the operation, still are basically crap. Basically, Ferrari is the only team in the history of F1, (at least in the last 40 years or so), to have success whilst based outside of England.

England is the home of F1, and if you base yourself elsewhere, you will lose.

#24 Zoe

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 06:11

Originally posted by Josta

The only other team to be based outside of the motorsport stronghold is Toyota,

What about the BMW (former Sauber) team?

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#25 Imperial

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 07:25

Originally posted by Timstr11
So what facilities does Toro Rosso have other than production facilities. Does anyone know?
The past few years no designs have been coming out of there as we all know.


No biggie.

For design the least you need is a drawing board to design the main parts of the car. The rest of the car, for a team of this size, will be bought in from third parties anyway.

At most they'll need some computers.

#26 Timstr11

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 07:33

Originally posted by Imperial


No biggie.

For design the least you need is a drawing board to design the main parts of the car. The rest of the car, for a team of this size, will be bought in from third parties anyway.

At most they'll need some computers.

Drawing board?
This 2008. Technology has moved on.

#27 F1 Engineer

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 07:49

Originally posted by Timstr11
Drawing board?
This 2008. Technology has moved on.

Tell that to Adrian Newey! :lol: But you are, of course, correct.

#28 Gecko

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 07:53

Originally posted by Imperial


No biggie.

For design the least you need is a drawing board to design the main parts of the car. The rest of the car, for a team of this size, will be bought in from third parties anyway.

At most they'll need some computers.


You are forgetting the most important part. A team of designers and engineers with well established responsibilities. That is certainly the most tricky bit to set up right.

#29 ATM_Andy

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 07:59

Originally posted by Josta
Other than that, you need to be based in England to have access to the best facilities. The only other team to be based outside of the motorsport stronghold is Toyota, who despite chucking billions at the operation, still are basically crap.


I'm afraid that is not excatly correct any longer, the BMW Sauber F1 team have two stunning facilities at Hinwil in Switzerland and Munich in Germany.

#30 Jackman

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 08:50

Originally posted by Timstr11
So what facilities does Toro Rosso have other than production facilities. Does anyone know?
The past few years no designs have been coming out of there as we all know.

http://atlasf1.autos.../stonefeld.html

And that was 4 years ago, before they had any money.

#31 Youichi

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 08:57

Originally posted by Jerome


Mmm... I think that Weigl wanted to buy Super Aguri, but not pay the debt. I think the deal was something like: 'I keep SA running by financing the rest of this season, and Honda F1 racing forget about 100 mill or so...'


So instead Honda shutdown the team, and don't get their $100 million anyway......

Honada are allegedly running 4 wind tunnels, but couldn't afford a couple of million a race to keep SA going until they found a buyer.

#32 Hacklerf

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 08:59

Nice link Jackman :up:

#33 Dudley

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 09:49

Originally posted by Youichi


So instead Honda shutdown the team, and don't get their $100 million anyway......

Honada are allegedly running 4 wind tunnels, but couldn't afford a couple of million a race to keep SA going until they found a buyer.


It's not even that much, the figure being bandied about to keep them running till the end of the season was less than $1mil a race. and that would be massively offset by the millions they just forfeited in TV revenue.

#34 Jerome

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 12:39

I suggest you go over to the other Super Aguri thread. Gareth has posted some very good info about Honda's financial support of SA, which made things at least a bit clearer for me.