Musings on the BMW Sale Switch (from QADBAK to Sauber)


What Happens When a Stray Thought Just Won’t Leave

12:45am EST — Here at On Any Sunday, These Days, much research went into a profile of Middle Eastern investment consortium QADBAK when it bought the BMW share of the BMW-Sauber Formula1 team earlier this year.  Then came the announcement (after some disclosures that convicted fraudster Russell King was more involved than previously known) that Peter Sauber had scraped together investors to buy back the BMW share of his team, stopping the QADBAK sale entirely.  More recently, though, economic news coverage has been swamped with stories of Dubai’s economic woes.  One week ago, Dubai World, a state-owned conglomerate best known for real estate and ports development, asked its various creditors to hold onto its $4 billion debts for six months.  The world economic crisis hit this non-oil-rich country hard.

All of this leads to a question: did the recent economic crisis in Dubai cut short the QADBAK-BMW sale?  If the rumors are true that King and the Al-Thani Group were far more involved than previously allowed, did the projected money for the buy-out dry up in the desert?  Granted, QADBAK was about to use the $40 million in prize money from the 2009 season to help pay BMW, but it seems too easy to also note that, obviously, things have not been going well in Dubai for at least some time, and now the economy is in crisis.  There is simply not the money available from the various other investments that likely were to have paid for the rest of the team buy-out.  Compounded by the respectability offered by a team owned wholly by Peter Sauber (do not forget, this team is still fighting against some incarnation of Toyota for the 13th grid position) and one could easily suspect that the Dubai financial crisis was the final, and largest, nail in the coffin of QADBAK in Formula1.

This is, of course, speculation, as no other news source has mentioned or confirmed this suspicion.  Still, it is food for thought in this continuing, exciting off-season.

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