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Midland team bought by Spyker 09 Sep 2006

(L to R): Dr Colin Kolles (GER) MF1 Racing Managing Director with Michiel Mol (NDL).
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, 8 September 2006

The Midland Formula One team has been sold to Dutch sportscar manufacturer Spyker, it was confirmed late on Saturday in Monza. The deal, due to be finalized by the end of this month, will see the Silverstone-based squad renamed as Spyker MF1 Racing.

Colin Kolles is to stay on as team principal, with Dutch businessman Michiel Mol assuming the role of Director of Formula One Racing. They will be joined by former Toyota and Jordan technical director Mike Gascoyne, who will become Chief Technology Officer from the start of November.

Spyker are financing the acquisition, which values the team at US$106.6 million, through a combination of a new share issue and an interest-free loan from the Midland Group. Mol, who has been part of Formula One racing for many years as a sponsor, will be buying the majority of the new shares, joining the Spyker board in the process.

Spyker CEO Victor Muller commented: "Since we started the company in 2000 we have seen tremendous growth consistently year on year, basically doubling production every year. In order to maintain a strong growth path for a company with relatively limited means for marketing, the entry into the Formula One arena is an unparalleled way to both underline Spyker's commitment to racing and to benefit from a massive increase in brand awareness around the globe.

“It is my strong conviction that Formula One racing transmits values which are entirely in line with our brand values: heritage, design, craftsmanship, performance and exclusivity. Moreover we expect that the Spyker road cars will seriously benefit from the F1 technology that we now have in-house. I am so proud of our team that worked around the clock to make this deal happen. €;

Mol added: "Today my lifelong ambition became reality. After being involved with Formula One as a sponsor of teams and drivers for almost 10 years I will now participate as a shareholder in a very ambitious manufacturer owned Formula One Team. Formula One has developed as a challenging platform for building global brands. The new regulations will make this high-profile sport even more attractive. I will definitely use all my skills and experience in digital media to make the team one of the most dynamic and appealing for fans and sponsors.

“The Spyker brand values fit perfectly with F1 and my vision. I look forward to working together with Victor Muller. What he achieved by reintroducing the most famous Dutch car manufacturer brand is impressive. F1 will help to make Spyker even more credible and successful. However, we are not in F1 to be in F1. We are in F1 to win.

“Mike Gascoyne joining us is a milestone and the ultimate proof of our ambitions. Together with Colin Kolles he will be able to build a winning team. Hopefully it will not take too long before we hear the Dutch anthem in Formula One for the first time ever. I have a new challenge and nothing is impossible."

An announcement on the team's 2007 engine supply is expected shortly. They currently run Toyota V8s, but with Toyota having agreed a deal with Williams for next year, the Midland partnership is expected to finish at the end of the season.

The Midland Group, headed by Alex Shnaider, originally purchased the team, formerly Jordan, at the start of 2005.