The Williams Grand Prix Formula 1 team has new owners, after being sold to an American investment company.
Following a short formal sale process, the Williams Racing team has been bought out by American investment company Dorilton Capital. The sale effectively ends Williams’ status as an independent, family-owned team after more than 40 years, having built their first car as a Constructor in 1978. It also ends Sir Frank Williams’ tenure as a team boss after first entering F1 with his own car back in 1969.
Williams announced they were formally putting the team up for sale in a bid to find new investment back in May, immediately following the departure of title sponsor RoKIT. Williams also sold off a majority stake in their other company, Williams Advanced Engineering, earlier this year.
Dorllton Capital are a private investment company based in New York. Their website says that they ‘seek to acquire, recapitalise, and support the long-term growth of middle market businesses across a range of industry sectors. We seek control situations and prefer to partner with incumbent management to create value over the long term.”
The Williams announcement ties in with this company statement – there are no plans to move Williams away from their factory in Grove. There’s no plans to rename or rebrand, and the Williams’ cars will still be named as such.
The sale of Williams to Dorilton was met with unanimous support from the board, including Sir Frank Williams, who believes the sale secures the long-term viability of the team.
With Williams struggling financially as a completely independent outfit, the timing of the sale is quite good. They’ve signed up to Formula 1 until, at least, the end of 2025 after signing the new Concorde Agreement earlier this week. With a long-term Mercedes engine supply deal, and an incoming budget cap that will help level the playing field for smaller outfits like Williams, the future suddenly looks a lot brighter for the team – even if it does come at the cost of complete ownership.
Clare Williams, who remains in charge as Deputy Team Principal, said: “The Strategic Review was a useful process to go through and proved that both Formula One and Williams have credibility and value. We have now reached a conclusion and we are delighted that Dorilton are the new owners of the team.”
“When we started this process, we wanted to find a partner who shared the same passion and values, who recognised the team’s potential and who could unlock its power. In Dorilton we know we have found exactly that. People who understand the sport and what it takes to be successful. People who respect the team’s legacy and will do everything to ensure it succeeds in the future. As a family we have always put our team first.”
“Making the team successful again and protecting our people has been at the heart of this process from start. This may be the end of an era for Williams as a family owned team, but we know it is in good hands. The sale ensures the team’s survival but most importantly will provide a path to success. We are enormously grateful to Dorilton for the faith they have shown in our team and we look forward to working with them now. I would also like to thank the Williams Board and our advisers who have worked tirelessly over the past months to make this happen and our employees who have remained steadfastly loyal.”
Chairman of Dorilton Capital is Matthew Savage, who said: “We are delighted to have invested in Williams and we are extremely excited by the prospects for the business. We believe we are the ideal partner for the company due to our flexible and patient investment style, which will allow the team to focus on its objective of returning to the front of the grid. We look forward to working with the Williams team in carrying out a detailed review of the business to determine in which areas new investment should be directed. We also recognise the world class facilities at Grove and confirm that there are no plans to relocate.”