BRDC Considering Leasing Silverstone to Qatar Investment Authority

August 29, 2011

Qatar’s Investment Authority (QIA) are having talks with British Racing Drivers Corporation (BRDC) to lease the Silverstone Formula One circuit, The Independent newspaper reported.

The BRDC, which owns the circuit, is considering leasing the 850-acre Silverstone site for 150 years, in a deal expected to be worth up to $405.7 million, the paper said.

The Independent added that QIA was selected from a shortlist drawn up by PricewaterhouseCoopers. 

Silverstone hosted the first Formula One Championship race in 1950 but has been continually questioned in recent years by Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who famously likened it to a “country fair masquerading as a world event”. 

The paper quoted a source as saying: “To do all the development, they have had to borrow a massive amount of money and, long-term, the club can’t sustain that.” 

Other high-profile investments made by the QIA over the past couple of years include the 1.5 billion pound acquisition of London department store Harrods. 

Qatar also has stakes in companies including retailer J Sainsbury , banking group Barclays and German automaker Porsche through the QIA.