Vijay Mallya denies Force India is up for sale

2011 F1 season

Vijay Mallya, Force India, 2011

Mallya called team sale rumours 'completely untrue'

Vijay Mallya has strongly denied claims he is planning to sell his Force India Formula 1 team.

The team issued a statement from Mallya today saying: “I was shocked to read a media report that I am selling the Force India Formula 1 team.

“This is completely untrue and without any basis whatsoever. I take great pride in having been able to put an Indian team on the Formula 1 world championship grid and have worked very hard to greatly improve the performance of the team.

“Now that India is finally on the Formula 1 world championship calendar, my commitment to Force India becomes even stronger. As team principal, I will continue to run the team and I have no plans whatsoever to exit.”

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41 comments on Vijay Mallya denies Force India is up for sale

  1. ECWDanSelby (@ecwdanselby) said on 7th October 2011, 10:48

    Which usually means the opposite :)

  2. Probably he has no plans to exit but he might be forced to do to save other businesses. it is well documented in indian media that his airline is struggling lot.. (they are defaulting on almost everything..). He is being stretched a lot on finance side & so it makes sense for him to sell some non core interests (He has cricket club also and if choice comes to sell either FI or cricket club, he would sell FI considering cricket mad popularity in india). Also heard that his yacht is up for sale.

    If he gets right price, the FI sale may not be too far away..

    • LuckyB said on 7th October 2011, 12:14

      His core business is liquor .. which was never so good…Guess he has the luxury to run few non core ones like Airlines, FIF1, RCB

    • NDINYO (@ndinyo) said on 7th October 2011, 12:17

      Maybe he is spreading himself too thin and not having time for the other business interests. He shouldn’t be FI team principal – that requires him to spend atleast a week every fortnight just working on Formula 1 which is not his core business. Maybe its time for him to steal Christian Horner from the other billionaire so that he can go back to doing what he does best – which is making money.

      • lopes (@lopes) said on 7th October 2011, 14:13

        I tend to agree, @ndinyo. I was always surprised as to how both he and Tony Fernandes can find the time to run their F1 teams.

        The energy drink guy certainly does things differently…

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 7th October 2011, 12:33

      @Raj I think you are right about his airlines not running all too flowery right now. But the question is what would he gain by selling his team now, when most sponsorship is done by his other companies.

      Maybe the other partner in the ownership (Dutchman Michiel Mol) wants to sell and move on, or they want someone else in from India to bolster the team and broaden their base or … quite a lot of possibilities actually.

    • It all depends on the results that come in next year. India’s population, if serialized to support F1 will be the biggest in the world. I see Cricket’s fame is reducing after the England series loss (miserable) and not many interested in T20 now adays(empty Champs league T20 grounds). Still no one in India likes to be a mid range team, win 2-3 or podium in 5 races, and he will have sponsorships to drown his whole castle in Bangalore with money.
      I know how we spoke with pride when Fisi got pole in SPA and completed 2nd. Everyone thought F India was next red bull, and the news coverage was simply amazing, with Fisi’s pics in major cities’ hoardings (Bangalore/Chennai). India is a passionate crowd, more so like Brazil, and yes we never get pride in being 2nd to anyone. That is why there is only Cricket where we can make our own dumb pitches and invite cold countries during hot summers and win a series or two(yeah World cup, but I dont want to get into that in this premium F1 site).
      I hope Mallya does decide on long term and also has podium finishes in his To-do list.

  3. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 7th October 2011, 11:16

    Even if he does sell the team I won’t be surprise at all as he own a cricket franchise in India which is more popular then F1.But I don’t think that he need to sell the team as they are improving day by day.

  4. glue (@glue) said on 7th October 2011, 11:54

    ‘Giancarlo will stay with us until the end of 2009, he will not go to Ferrari’

  5. All I want to know about FI is whether they’re going to put the Hulk in a seat. It’s really annoying that a guy who could eventually become a great talent has been sat on the sidelines for a year (although admittedly he could have had that Williams seat if he brought some cash but I can understand why he didn’t want to do that).

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 7th October 2011, 12:35

      I would think Hulk is a great talent already Steph! But i fully agree, that this is the news I want to hear from them.

      • @BasCB you’re probably right but he has so much more potential that’s all I meant and hasn’t got the results yet. I still daydream about his pole at Brazil :P

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 7th October 2011, 14:11

          @steph That was really an amazing pole position, wasn’t it! Even more amazing Williams had to drop him after that.
          I really get worked up when i see PM and others writing how Hulk did nothing special, just happened to be there at the right moment.

          • @BasCB I agree. It was very special. He did everything right. The Williams was good in low grip conditions but Rubens made a mistake while Nico just kept going faster and faster pulling out wonderful times. He got the tyres right up to a perfect temperature and his lines were so clean and precise in very tricky conditions. His gap to I think Seb (correct me if I’m wrong) was just stunning. It was a great one for the fans too because I think Williams has a soft spot in a lot of fans (even me and I was far from a fan) so it was a real underdog moment and I remember everyone going wild on the liveblog.

          • Klaas (@klaas) said on 7th October 2011, 18:51

            He did do something special, only in special conditions.

    • Fettel said on 7th October 2011, 13:46

      Its also a problem that he is german. Bernie dont more germans in F1.

  6. LuckyB said on 7th October 2011, 12:11

    Seems like a wrong info, Considering the good work they have been doing this season. On a lighter note …”Someone from Renault has to do with this false news ??”

  7. Dev (@dev) said on 7th October 2011, 12:36

    Mallya will not sell this team; this team gives him exclusive branding & also keeps him in the news. As alcohol advertisement are banned in India… he is trying to be creative & trying hard to promote his brands.

  8. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 7th October 2011, 12:53

    I’d say it’s more likely that he’s looking to sell some shares in the team rather than sell the team outright.

  9. JohnBt (@johnbt) said on 7th October 2011, 13:27

    When the negative global economic crunch hit most next year many business model will change. We shall see.

  10. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 7th October 2011, 13:51

    Seems like a rather silly time to fire up the rumour-mill, with the Indian GP only a few weeks away.

  11. Richard said on 7th October 2011, 14:48

    “I was shocked to read a media report that I am selling the Force India Formula 1 team.”
    Translation: I was fully aware and prepared a legally advised response.

    “This is completely untrue and without any basis whatsoever.”
    Translation: A share sell off/merger likely; thus making his statement technically correct.
    And it challenges the media to reveal sources, which they can’t do, to prove otherwise

    “I take great pride in having been able to put an Indian team on the Formula 1 world championship grid and have worked very hard to greatly improve the performance of the team.”
    Comment: Can’t dispute the ‘pride’ & hard work; though I understand, (perhaps incorrectly), there main engineering base is in the UK so the term “Indian owned” might be more applicable.

  12. It’s usually futile to speculate on such issues. I tend to agree that he might be looking for partners to shed some weight off his shoulders but to sell the team now makes no sense whatsoever. Yes, his airline is suffering and has huge levels of debt, but that is the case with almost all airlines today. His liquor business, on the other hand, has always done extremely well and continues to do so. I do not see any major problems with his finances to suggest that he’s cash-strapped and would want to sell the team.
    One thing I agree though, he should get an actual “team principal” for the team and lend himself more to his core businesses. But who am I to say, he definitely knows more about his businesses than any of us!

  13. Mallesh Magdum (@malleshmagdum) said on 7th October 2011, 15:15

    He has always been involved in F1 ever he since he sponsored Benetton in 1997…..seems very unlikely that he would sell off his team after all these years of involvement

  14. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 7th October 2011, 17:55

    Force India has shown consistency throughout the years and has even survived when big teams like BMW or Toyota preferred to give up. Let’s not forget Red Bull started on a similar way (I used to mock on Coulthard’s performance in the RB after his succesful years in McLaren) but then they started small but steady progress until being now the unbeaten team. Force India has in DiResta that raw potential Vettel showed just few years ago. So they are on the right action course.

  15. F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 7th October 2011, 19:41

    wow, if he sells there will be hell to pay concerning the indian track.

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