After posting losses of £13m in 2019, Williams is considering the sale of a majority stake in the Formula 1 team.
During Williams’ 2019 annual financial results, the firm discussed how a “new strategic direction” is needed to ensure it is positioned well to take advantage of F1’s new rules and regulations in 2021.
A Williams spokesperson stated: “As part of this new strategic direction, the WGPH board is undertaking a review of all the various strategic options available to the company. Options being considered include, but are not limited to, raising new capital for the business, a divestment of a minority stake in WGPH, or a divestment of a majority stake in WGPH including a potential sale of the whole company.”
According to Mike O’Driscoll, the CEO of Williams, the financial results reflect the team’s recent decline in performances, which has resulted in reduced commercial rights income. Moreover, William’s has announced that it has terminated its title sponsorship with ROKiT before the start of F1’s revised 2020 campaign.
O’Driscoll explained: “The financial results for 2019 reflect the recent decline in competitiveness of the F1 operation and the consequent reduction in commercial rights income. After four years of very solid performance in the FIA F1 Constructors’ Championship during which we claimed two third and two fifth-place finishes, we endured a couple of very difficult seasons. We have implemented a significant restructuring over the last nine months and have strengthened the technical leadership team.”
“The 2020 Formula 1 season has, of course, been disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and this will have an impact on our commercial rights income this year. The Team have also served notice to terminate its relationship with its title partner, ROKiT, and major sponsor, ROK Drinks.”
In 2018’s financial results Williams recorded a £12.9m profit, highlighting how significant the company’s 2019 loss is. Also, as O’Driscoll alluded to due to the global health pandemic cancelling some Grand Prix’s and delaying the 2020 campaign it will expectedly have a severe monetary impact on the company.