Sauber has announced a change in ownership that secures the future of its Formula 1 operation and offers scope for growth in the future.
Sauber has operated as an independent team following the withdrawal of BMW at the end of 2009, but has struggled financially in recent years.
Earlier this year, the team failed to pay its staff on time, leading to questions about its long-term future as it continued to struggle at the back of the grid.
Team principal and shareholder Monisha Kaltenborn hinted that progress had been made in securing the future of the team, with a change in ownership being announced on Wednesday.
“The Sauber Group is pleased to announce the change of its ownership. Following the signing of the acquisition agreement with the current shareholders, Longbow Finance S.A. will fully acquire Sauber Holding AG which is the ultimate holding company of the Sauber Group,” a statement reads.
“It is Longbow Finance S.A.’s clear intention to stabilise the group and create the basis for a competitive and successful future. This transaction also secures the continuation of the brand Sauber in Formula One and will open opportunities to further grow the engineering activities of the group. There will be no changes to either the company or the team name.
“Peter Sauber will retire from all functions, being succeeded by Pascal Picci as Chairman of Sauber Holding A.G. Monisha Kaltenborn will remain as a member of the Board of Directors and continue to lead the company in her functions as CEO and Team Principal.”
“We are very pleased that by reaching an agreement with Longbow Finance S.A., we can secure the future of Sauber at the pinnacle of motorsport,” Kaltenborn said.
“We are convinced that Longbow Finance S.A. is the perfect partner to again make the team competitive and successful in Formula 1. At the same time the new structure will allow us to finally further expand our third party business in which we commercialise our know-how.
“This solution is in the best interest of our employees, partners, loyal suppliers, the base in Hinwil and for the Swiss motorsport.
“We are very grateful that Longbow Finance S.A. believes in the competences, efficiency and capabilities of Sauber Group, and we look forward to a new exciting future.”
Team founder Peter Sauber added: “Monisha Kaltenborn and I yesterday signed an agreement which secures the future of the Formula 1 Team and the Sauber Group.
“I am very happy that my courageous investment to buy the team back, which I made six years ago, with the intention to secure the base in Hinwil and the place in Formula 1 has proved to be correct.”