Russian investor takes control of Nurburgring

Russian businessman Viktor Kharitonin has acquired a majority stake in the Nurburgring, which hosts the German Grand Prix in alternate years.

Kharitonin has taken over the shareholding acquired by Capricorn in March, after the specialist motorsport firm reportedly failed to keep to its payment schedule.

German publication Wirtschafts Woche said Capricorn missed one of its regular US$6.3 million installments, part of the US$138.6 million deal to take control of the Grand Prix circuit, the historic 170-corner Nordschleife circuit and other facilities at the site including conference halls and hotels.

When it announced its original deal in March, Capricorn also promised to invest a further US$34.7 million in new and upgraded facilities at the Nurburgring, which lies in the Eiffel mountain region of Germany.

Wirtschafts Woche reported that Kharitonin, who has made his fortune as the founder of Pharmstandard, a Russian pharmaceutical firm, has already paid the instalment due in December, although it remains unclear exactly how much he has paid or his precise shareholding. He is believed to have set up the NR Holdings AG company as a vehicle through which to operate the venue.

GetSpeed, a Nurburgring-based automotive workshop and tuning company which bought in when Capricorn took over, is still believed to retain a share in the track.

The Nurburgring currently shares Germany's Formula One Grand Prix with Hockenheim, with the latter staging the 2014 event. The Nurburgring, which despite its history was in severe financial difficulties prior to Capricorn's investment, is expected to stage the 2015 event.

Source: SportsPro

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