Force India to become Sahara Force India after buy-in

2011 F1 season

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

  1. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 12th October 2011, 23:57

    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.

  2. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 13th October 2011, 3:25

    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.

  3. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th October 2011, 4:11

    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?

  4. Raveendhana (@raveendhana) said on 13th October 2011, 6:59

    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.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th October 2011, 20:19

      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

  5. Raveendhana (@raveendhana) said on 13th October 2011, 7:04

    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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