Business Today

Mallya's ticket to F1

The liquor baron is bidding for a little-known team.

By Kushan Mitra        Print Edition: Sept 23, 2007

In the last three years, UB honcho Vijay Mallya has started an airline, bought a controlling stake in another, bought out a Scotch Whiskey maker and now he has put in a bid to buyout a Formula 1 team, Spyker.

Owned by a small Dutch car maker of the same name, Spyker is a Formula 1 laggard of late and has changed ownership and names twice since Eddie Jordan sold out the then Jordan team in 2003.

Vijay Mallya
UB's Mallya: In the fast lane
However, with Formula 1 being a sport where money talks, the big spenders such as McLaren-Mercedes, Scuderia Ferrari, Renault, BMW, Toyota and Honda dominate. Mallya, who has bid a reputed m 80 million for the team, might be able to pour in additional funds into the team.

A UB spokesperson confirmed the deal but clarified that the offer "was in front of the Spyker board and they are yet to take a decision."

Kingfisher Airlines is already a sponsor of the Toyota f1 Racing team, and how the Spyker buy will affect the relationship is unclear. If the deal goes through, Mallya would probably sign up Indian drivers such as Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandok. Given the lack of racing infrastructure in India, is Mallya jumping the gun by aiming for the top?

Youtube
  • Print

  • COMMENT
BT-Story-Page-B.gif
A    A   A
close