Williams stake it all with Latifi-linked refinancing agreement

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Williams has essentially put everything they own on the line after agreeing a refinancing deal for the Formula 1 team.

Questions over the financial health of the Grove-based squad have been growing as results have worsened on track with Williams having to source revenue from sponsors such as RoKiT.

Last December, the company sold a majority stake in their Advanced Engineering arm to raise funds and it is from that, that the new arrangements were agreed.

“Following the sale of WAE at the end of 2019 we began a refinancing process,” deputy team boss Claire Williams told Autosport.

“After considering a number of options, we have now concluded our refinancing with a consortium of lenders, all of which was negotiated on an arms-length commercial basis.

“The loan package provides us with the resources that we need moving forward.”

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The report notes the main lenders are long-time partners HSBC and Latrus Racing, a company owned by Michael Latifi, the billionaire father of 2020 race driver Nicholas.

To secure the loan, Williams has taken out a mortgage on their land, buildings, factory and machinery at Grove, plus so-called 'heritage assets' including over 100 Formula 1 cars ranging from championship winners to last year's terrible FW42.

Though this process began before the current coronavirus pandemic, it is an example of the lengths teams are having to go to, to survive financially and highlights the risks to teams as they face the fallout from the current crisis.