- Daimler to reduce shareholding from 60%; Wolff ups stake from 30%
- Austrian to remain team principal and CEO for further three years
- Ineos already team’s principal partner under five-year, US$128m deal
Ineos has officially acquired a 33 per cent stake in Formula One world champions Mercedes-AMG Petronas.
The long-rumoured agreement sees the petrochemicals giant become a one-third equal partner in the team alongside Daimler AG and Toto Wolff, the team’s current chief executive and team principal.
As part of the deal, financial terms of which have not been disclosed, Daimler has agreed to reduce its current 60 per cent shareholding, while Wolff, who will continue in his role for a further three years, has increased his stake sightly from 30 per cent.
Ineos, which is already Mercedes’ principal partner having signed a five-year sponsorship deal reportedly worth UK£100 million (US$128 million) in February, has been linked with a takeover of the team for some time.
In September, Mercedes moved to play down reports that suggested the company was close to agreeing a UK£700 million (US$899 million) deal to purchase a 70 per cent stake.
“When we entered Formula One earlier this year, we chose to do so with a Mercedes team that had set new benchmarks, and since then we have been in discussions about how we could increase our involvement,” Ineos chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe said in a statement.
“This is a unique opportunity to make a financial investment in a team at the very top of its game, but which still has rich potential to grow in the future. We could not wish for better partners than Mercedes-Benz, and a team of proven winners led by Toto.”
A statement announcing Ineos’ investment said the Brackley-based outfit will remain Mercedes-Benz’ works Formula One team and will continue to race using Mercedes chassis and power units in the coming years.
“This team is like a family for me,” added Wolff. “We have been through so many highs and lows together that I cannot imagine working with a better group of people in this sport – and I am very happy to continue together into this new era.
“This new investment from Ineos confirms that the business case for Formula One teams is robust and sends an important signal of confidence in the sport after a challenging year.”
On the track, Mercedes have claimed an unprecedented seven consecutive double world championships since 2014, with Lewis Hamilton securing this year’s drivers title.