Dave Richards and Honda F1?

Richards is one of two interested parties reputed to be interested in taking over the Honda F1 team.

Is Dave going to get the money from his mates in the Middle East - and is it a good thing?

David Richards is rumoured to be racking up the Air miles with a trip to the Middle East - specifically with a view to discussing the potential purchase of the Honda F1 race team/facilities/entry in F1.

He led a syndicate last year which was to take up the 12th team entry into F1 last year untill the customer car debacle prevented him from doing so.

Anyway let the whole cost climate and barriers to F1 entry have changed somewhat recently - and the workforce Honda F1 will recognise that dramatic cuts will ensue if they are given a lifeline and subsequently taken over.

Massive restructuring will take place at Brackley with anyone who takes over - and the teams annual $300m budget would be

Is Richards the man for the job?

Well he did bloody well in his stint at BAR Honda F1 before he was ousted - but his decision to broaden his commericial spheres - and delegate responsibilities on the WRC programme with Subaru was not so good.

He's a flamboyant character - and makes as many enemies as friends - but he has created a large engineering group from scratch - and masterfully got the Dar Investment into Prodrive before Subaru's withdrawl - so his commerical acumen will is up there with some of the F1 team principals...

Importantly from a personal perspective he also has a few Prodrive staff kicking their heels at the moment...

So good luck to him - it would be good to think the boys at Brackley and Bracknell have a job waiting for them in 2009.

Recent events concerning Prodrive - Dave Richards - his customers and Investment Dar.

Couple of weeks ago Subaru leave WRC>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

A team synonymous with the WRC leave the championship - citing economic downturn. Whilst the financial element is undoubtedly a factor in their decision to leave - and Suzuki's prior departure helpfully paved the way - the reality is that the Prodrive designed/built/engineered Subaru WRC cars had been woefully uncompetitive for years and Solbergs title in 2003 was the last real season where the cars could fight at the front. The WRC team was beleived to account for 20% of Prodrive's turnover - and at the time it was suggested that staff from this programme could be deployed in other areas of the group.

!8th November 2008 - Investment Dar purchased 40% stake in Prodrive>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

PR relating to that deal below:

UK-based motorsport and automotive technology business Prodrive today announced that Kuwaiti investment company, Investment Dar, purchased 40 percent stake in the company. Prodrive's founder David Richards said the collaboration with Investment Dar started in 2007 when the Kuwaiti consortium acquired Aston Martin and Richards became chairman of the company.

“Although we are best known for running motorsport programmes for Subaru and Aston Martin, we also work with vehicle manufacturers to develop new technology for the road.  This investment follows a year of planning, during which time we have identified a number of opportunities to expand our motorsport and road car activities,” Richards commented on the agreement.

David Richards will remain the majority shareholder in Prodrive but Mahmoud Samy of Investment Dar will join the executive board, the UK-based company said in a statement released to the press.

“We have followed Prodrive’s success through the Subaru and Aston Martin motorsport programmes and seen the commitment and dedication of all the employees in every aspect of the business.  Prodrive has a great heritage and David has a clear vision for growing the business. We look forward to working closely with David and his management team to realise their goals,” Samy stated.

Who are Investment Dar?>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Investment Dar is a Kuwaiti company founded in October 1994 owning a wide range of companies, including Wared Lease and Finance Co, Credit Rating and Collection Co, Bahrain Islamic Bank, Cham Bank and Aston Martin.

Aston Martin investment involving Investment Dar>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

In 2007, the Investment Dar Company (TID) made one of the most sophisticated deals in the history of Kuwaiti investments, when it led a consortium of local and international investors to purchase the majority shares of Aston Martin Lagonda from Jaguar and Ford Motor. The consortium consisted of TID's strategic ally, Efad Group, the British company of Prodrive and the American firm of Sinders Racing.

The total value of this high profile transaction, which took place in the British capital, was around 500 million sterling pounds, of which 60% was financed through equity contributions and the rest (about 225 million sterling pounds) through a Murabahah facility, arranged by the West LB of London.