Williams start 'formal sale process' after announcing £13m loss for 2019

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Williams has opened the door to potentially selling their historic Formula 1 team after posting a £13m loss for 2019.

The Grove-based outfit saw a combined loss of revenue totalling £51m for the calendar year, with £35m coming from reduced F1 revenue as a result of their poor on-track performance.

As a result, that led to a reverse in financial results from a near £13m profit in 2018 to a £13m loss last year.

In addition, Williams is also now dealing with the fallout of the coronavirus, which is set to hit revenues even harder for 2020.

And despite announcing a financial restructuring earlier this year, the dire situation has forced the company's hand in looking for either potential investors or a buyer.

“The Williams GP Holdings board is undertaking a review of all the various strategic options available to the Company," a statement said on Friday.

"Options being considered include, but are not limited to, raising new capital for the business, a divestment of a minority stake in WGPH, or a divestment of a majority stake in WGPH including a potential sale of the whole Company.

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“Whilst no decisions have been made regarding the optimal outcome yet, to facilitate discussions with interested parties, the Company announces the commencement of a 'formal sale process'.

“The Company is not in receipt of any approaches at the time of this announcement and confirms that it is in preliminary discussions with a small number of parties regarding a potential investment in the Company,” the statement noted.

“There can be no certainty that an offer will be made, nor as to the terms on which any offer will be made. The WGPH board reserves the right to alter or terminate the process at any time and if it does so it will make an announcement as appropriate.

"The WGPH board also reserves the right to reject any approach or terminate discussions with any interested party at any time.”

This news could get the attention of at least two billionaires, Michael Latifi, father of current race driver Nicholas, and Dmitry Mazepin.

Latifi, who also owns a stake in McLaren, has been increasing his investment into Williams through sponsorship deals for this season.

While Mazepin has been interested in buying an F1 team for several years, including being linked to Williams last year.

In another financial blow, Williams also confirmed on Friday that the title sponsorship deal with ROKit has been terminated with immediate effect due to the impact of Covid-19.

That partnership had originally been set to run until the end of 2023.