Deal reportedly stalls over circuit use covenant.
Porsche is blocking an attempt by Jaguar Land Rover to buy Silverstone Circuit, according to British media reports.
JLR launched its £33 million ($42.8 million) bid to takeover the British Grand Prix venue last year. The Indian-owned manufacturer, based in nearby Coventry, plans to use Silverstone for high-speed customer test drives and build offices, a hotel, and a heritage center at the site, as well as continuing to run racing activities.
However, Porsche has reportedly exercised its veto against any other manufacturer using Silverstone for than 45 days. The German sportscar maker operates a driving experience center at Silverstone, on land next to the Hangar Straight.
A senior member of the British Racing Driver’s Club, Silverstone’s owners, told the Telegraph: “Porsche has a covenant with their lease that says no manufacturer can use the circuit for more than 45 days a year. JLR were aware of that covenant and assumed they might be able to sort it out after the deal was done. I have been told in the last 48 hours that Porsche have indicated that they would not be prepared to waive their rights.”
A spokesman for Porsche said: “We are not prepared to confirm or deny any details contained within private contracts. We have a shared aim with the BRDC, in that we wish to see Silverstone and its local community thrive.”
The JLR deal did not meet universal approval from BRDC members one of whom, Ginetta Cars owner Lawrence Tomlinson, launched a counter-bid. An offer letter said he would “leave the BRDC with an upfront payment of £6m, capital investment, no debt responsibilities, and ongoing rent of £1m per year for a further 248 years (index-linked)."
Though it turned a profit of £1.2m in 2015, Silverstone has accrued huge losses in recent years and the BRDC recently admitted it has no cash reserves for investment. As a result it put a 249-year lease up for sale.