Qatar bid for Silverstone



The British Racing Drivers’ Club is poised to sell a 150-year lease on Silverstone to a consortium from Qatar with a reserve list of bidders waiting in the wings if the talks fall through.

In August 2009 the BRDC’s voting members gave the club’s directors authority to grant a lease on the 850-acre site to cover the costs of redeveloping Silverstone, which opened a new pit and paddock complex earlier this year.

The BRDC hired legal advisers Norton Rose and accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers to draw up a shortlist of bidders and in August this year members were informed that the club had entered into exclusive talks with a bidder.

That bidder, understood to be from Qatar, reportedly paid £1 million for the privilege. But this doesn’t secure the deal as members were also told that when the exclusivity period expires the BRDC will either agree terms or recommence negotiations with others on the shortlist.

The bid is believed to be backed by Qatari investor Ghanim Bin Saad Al Saad & Sons Group along with two UK property development firms, Barwood and Capita Symonds. Jonathan Goring, Capita’s UK MD, said: “Any work we’ve carried out for Silverstone is bound by a confidentiality agreement.”