Friday, 21 November 2014

Chinese merchant bank zooms into Formula One

This is rather intriguing. Click on the link below and you will see that Caterham, the Formula One team that recently found itself in financial difficulty, has found a new sponsor in North Square Blue Oak and is set to race in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this weekend.

For readers unfamiliar with the travails of Caterham, it went into administration last month and missed a race weekend for the first time in its race history. Here is a link to a Financial Times piece on the topic:

But now the Caterham F1 team is back and North Square Blue Oak - a City-based merchant bank and stockbroker with strong ties to China - appears to have played a part in the company's revival. The Caterham team used to be sponsored by US industrial giant GE.

Will Stevens, a 23-year old driver from England, will make his debut in Formula One at the season-ending Abu Dhabi race by driving a Caterham car. Here is a link to a BBC piece on Will Stevens's forthcoming debut and Caterham's uncertain future:

What I am wondering is does this imply the Chinese are taking a strong interest in buying the Caterham team or possibly, even, Formula One itself?

As we all know, the owners of the sport - which include CVC Capital Partners - have been weighing a sale or flotation of Formula One for last couple of years.  

Watch this space...

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