Sahara Force India logo

Force India to become Sahara Force India after buy-in

2011 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sahara Force India logo
Sahara Force India logo

The Force India team will be renamed Sahara Force India Formula One following a buy-in from the Sahara Group.

Mallya will remain as team principal of the Silverstone-based outfit.

He has sold a 42.5% stake in his team to Subrata Roy’s Sahara Group. Mallya’s United Breweries Group retains 42.5%, with a further 15% held by Michiel Mol.

Force India said the deal will bring around $100m (??63.38m) of investment into the team.

Mallya said: “I am delighted to welcome Saharasri Subrata Roy Sahara as Chairman of Sahara Force India.

“It has indeed been a matter of pride for me to put India on the F1 map with Force India and raise the performance of the team to its current levels. The Sahara Group has played a very important role in the development of sport in the country and is an ideal partner to take the Force India F1 Team to greater success in the Formula 1 world championship.”

Subrata Roy said: “The advent of India in this exciting sport has remained a matter of pride for all our countrymen. I feel doubly proud that Sahara is the co-owner of India?s only F1 team and I am sure that through the Sahara Force India F1 Team, we will together bring pride and laurels to our beloved nation.”

Last week he strongly denied rumours the team was up for sale, saying: “As team principal, I will continue to run the team and I have no plans whatsoever to exit.”

The Sahara Group’s businesses include includes television channels, real estate companies, film distribution, tourism services and a cricket team.

Mallya took over the former Spyker team at the end of 2007, re-branding it Force India. The team rose to seventh in the constructors’ championship last year and currently hold sixth place.

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120 comments on “Force India to become Sahara Force India after buy-in”

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  1. Liar, liar…

  2. Say what you want about Mallya but he has managed to turn the complete underdogs that were Spyker into a serious midfield team that has been able to attract three very decent drivers and is currently fighting for 5th place in the teams’ championship. In my opinion, VJM should be praised for that.

    It might be that VJM will step out of the team comtpletely over the coming months / years. In any case, the new management will have to work hard to ensure that the current competitiveness of the team is maintained as it will be extremely hard to raise it. Hopefully the current driver policy won’t change as hiring an Indian driver just because he’s Indian would certainly be a step back.

    1. Totally agree with Grits!!! mallya should be praised that he saved this great team and put them back where they should belong! just look at williams sadly they are moving backwards…
      force india needed to extra cash to move them to the next level!

      As a fan of this team since the jordan days and an brit indian. I really hope we dont put an indian driver in until they prove to be a great driver!! at the moment chandock is nowhere near to the current line up and we should keep Sutil and Di resta in the team!!!

      i really dont want Sutil to leave he has been loyal and brillant!!

  3. Saw that coming a mile off.

    BBT said on October 7, 2011
    Sounds like a sale in the AIR to me.
    Maybe not a majority stake.
    Really like what the team has achieved and the fact they give some potentially great drivers a chance.
    Will we see Di Resta and Hulk in Vijays team next session?
    That’s two questions one, the drivers and the owner

    Is it good or bad, the driver line up and the form in the first three races will tell use.

  4. *tell us in 2012

  5. “As team principal, I will continue to run the team and I have no plans whatsoever to exit.”

    100% accurate, people must be a bit naive to not realise what that means, no lies.

    1. Thanks to people like you, we can still believe there’s some sense left in people!

      I can’t believe so many just jumped off the bridge with those ridiculous views of a so-called veteran journalist who denies to publish comments that question his view!

      1. That veteran is still in denial about Spygate 2007 saga and that certain British driver has lost his edge due to loss of focus.

        While I agree with JS that LH has oodles of talent, but all the preaching he gave to Massa are applicable to LH as well.

        But then denial is the first step to transformation, so there is hope :)

        1. I won’t hold my breath for it! I couldn’t care less what he thinks or says any more.
          Here’s the thing though – he’s known to hate Mallya for some reason! And also says stuff like “I have no idea where your comment went, maybe it was in a disrespectful tone..” Well, I run a blog myself and know how commenting and moderating work.

          1. Here’s the thing though – he’s known to hate Mallya for some reason!

            The veteran journo is known to like Liuzzi a lot. He made a hue and cry over Liuzzi’s dismissal from Force India last year too. His hatred for VJM stems from that.

          2. @Sumedh, Rits – Given the his egotistic ways, the way he backs up vendor payments.

            Kind of unwanted vitriol he has spewed against his own compatriot drivers (who are doing best of the limited opportunities they have got, and all for no fault of their own) I am not fan of the liquor baron.

            Given the promise NK had shown in the Midland team, while Carlin was still at helm, I firmly believe if VJM had been graceful and worked with NK grow with his F1 venture NK would have delivered same results that Sutil-Fisico delivered.
            Even Sutil-Fisico-Liuzzi didn’t outshine the FI car capabilities. and only good results that team got right upto 2010 were flukes.

            So VJM is not completely a picture of piety himself.

            But refuting the press claims while the deal was not formal is VJM’s choice and saward was not fair in this instant….

  6. I wonder if this means they’ll want Sutil’s sponsors less and opt for the Hulk…

  7. Hmm what were those words again…

    “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 know there is probably hundreds of legal reasons he can’t say anything but can’t they just say “no comment” instead of telling a blatent lie.

    & the logo is rubish.

    1. In Yes, Minister if you gave your full backing to someone it was the kiss of death. It’s the same in day to day politics, the more a politician professes a standpoint the more likely they are to do exactly the opposite.

  8. Is it not Michiel Mol?

    1. And his father, Jan

    2. @robinrhysjones Typo, fixed it. Thanks.

  9. It’s just a huge investment in my eyes, which allows him to both keep the team going in his name and carry less financial weight. A nice sum of money to add to the kitty as well. Now just to sort out a logo!

  10. How is there money coming in, I would like to know. I mean, there Has been à sale of shares, so those shareholders get money, not Force India, I would say…
    I have to do some Googling, but I think Mol got some serious profit here!

    1. According to reports (official afaik), Sahara is investing $100 million in the team. What part of that money went into buying the shares (or if that’s completely apart from buying the shares) is not clear, but, a good amount went into the team funding, which is all I care about.

      1. @verstappen according to Wikipedia

        On 9 September 2006, it was revealed that the team was sold to Spyker Cars, a Dutch manufacturer of hand-built cars.[3] Spyker paid $106.6 million for the team

        was for the Midland F1 team, (here’s another source saying it was 68 m immediately and 2 installments of 15 and 23m made in the next 2 years ). Michiel Mol was then into the team management. Spyker sold to Mol and Mallya in october 2007 (after the initial payment +first installment) for 88 million EUR.
        In that case Mol would have brought in 44 Million EUR. This deal now values FI at about €190m (or $253m) If Mol sold his shares (from 50% down to 15%) it should have given him €66.5 or about a 50% ROI and revaluing the worth of the 15% stock he kept

        @rits I must say I am curious in how the deal works to bring money into the team though. Its the same as with the Williams sale, if someone buys into the team that means the money is going to the partner who sells. So the team does not really get better for it.

        Only way the team got investment from this is a deal where they issued 10% new stock, watering down Mallya’s stock from 50% to 42.5% (instead of selling those 7.5%). Mol would first sell about 32,4 % in the bussines to Sahara, before new shares are issued. Sahara would then buy the new shares to get to a total shareholding that is equal to Mallya’s. In that way albout $24m would be invested into the team, Mol would get about $76m (€ 56m or 20% ROI).

        What I am thinking after reading

        1. @BasCB – According to the latest statements, the whole of the $100 million is going into the team to upgrade facilities, wind-tunnel and such. None of the shareholders are taking any money out.

          Here’s the story:

          1. @Rits, but the article is a bit short on details. As @verstappen @BasCB say, when Mol reduced his share to 15%, it is hard to see how he didn’t get money for that; and bringing out new/more shares is really the only way that brings money in; but if Mol kept all his shares then it would mean they had to get out two times as many new shares as there were, and Mallya somehow got a lot of new those too, to end up with 42.5%.

            And Mol definitely can use the money, he was one of the Spyker/Saab merger money providers I think, so far that didn’t bring much return …

  11. Oh, yeah – I called it when I said Mallya would probably be lining up to sell a part of his team, and not the whole thing.

  12. The team was doing good then why do you need to sale part of it? I think things won’t be the same as they are now from 2012.

  13. I kind of like the new name – “Sahara” doesn’t sound as forced as, well, “Force India” (yes, I know it’s “Sahara Force India”). If Mallya wants out, I wonder if the team will change their name to something a little more flowing.

    Of course, that would make three teams wanting to change their names – Lotus, Fernandes and now Force India. And rumour suggests Hispania want a name change, too. But this just highlights how silly the rules preventing name changes are. Why should four teams be forced to race under names that are not representative of themselves?

    1. where have you been, Team Lotus=Lotus. Lotus Renault=Renualt. What you call ‘Hispania’=buy out ages ago know called HRT

      1. No, Team Lotus want to become Team Caterham. Lotus Renault GP want to become Lotus. Hispania has always been known as Hispania or HRT, but rumour has it that they want to change their name now that ownership has changed.

        1. No! What I stated is that Team Lotus are the ‘Lotus’ of F1. HRT is know the official name!

          1. Whenever your proven wrong, you just try to come up with something irrelivant contradicting what you first said, face it you know nothing about F1 you just wish you did!

  14. @wasiF1
    the biggest loser is the mol family not mallya, as mallya has lost only 7.5 percent of his shares with both sahara and mallya having 42.5percent shares each, whereas the mol family is reduced to 15percent.

    1. I think @raveendhana that actually the Mol family might be the ones profiting from this the most. They get a handy return on investment, and free up capital to use elsewhere even more lucrative.

      FI should be benefiting as well though as this new partner should be forging stronger relations with India and could bring longterm stability. cc. @wasif1

  15. @wasiF1
    actually mallya asked for sponsorship from sahara but sahara went into buying some shares in force india, so hes gonna invest $100m in the team now.

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