Vijay Mallya, Force India, 2011

Vijay Mallya denies Force India is up for sale

2011 F1 season

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Vijay Mallya, Force India, 2011
Mallya called team sale rumours 'completely untrue'

Vijay Mallya has strongly denied claims he is planning to sell his Force India Formula 1 team.

The team issued a statement from Mallya today saying: “I was shocked to read a media report that I am selling the Force India Formula 1 team.

“This is completely untrue and without any basis whatsoever. I take great pride in having been able to put an Indian team on the Formula 1 world championship grid and have worked very hard to greatly improve the performance of the team.

“Now that India is finally on the Formula 1 world championship calendar, my commitment to Force India becomes even stronger. As team principal, I will continue to run the team and I have no plans whatsoever to exit.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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41 comments on “Vijay Mallya denies Force India is up for sale”

  1. Which usually means the opposite :)

    1. @ECWDanSelby – You’re confusing him with Bernie Ecclestone!

      1. Would have been so much better ’28 days later’ :P

  2. Probably he has no plans to exit but he might be forced to do to save other businesses. it is well documented in indian media that his airline is struggling lot.. (they are defaulting on almost everything..). He is being stretched a lot on finance side & so it makes sense for him to sell some non core interests (He has cricket club also and if choice comes to sell either FI or cricket club, he would sell FI considering cricket mad popularity in india). Also heard that his yacht is up for sale.

    If he gets right price, the FI sale may not be too far away..

    1. His core business is liquor .. which was never so good…Guess he has the luxury to run few non core ones like Airlines, FIF1, RCB

    2. Maybe he is spreading himself too thin and not having time for the other business interests. He shouldn’t be FI team principal – that requires him to spend atleast a week every fortnight just working on Formula 1 which is not his core business. Maybe its time for him to steal Christian Horner from the other billionaire so that he can go back to doing what he does best – which is making money.

      1. I tend to agree, @ndinyo. I was always surprised as to how both he and Tony Fernandes can find the time to run their F1 teams.

        The energy drink guy certainly does things differently…

    3. @Raj I think you are right about his airlines not running all too flowery right now. But the question is what would he gain by selling his team now, when most sponsorship is done by his other companies.

      Maybe the other partner in the ownership (Dutchman Michiel Mol) wants to sell and move on, or they want someone else in from India to bolster the team and broaden their base or … quite a lot of possibilities actually.

    4. It all depends on the results that come in next year. India’s population, if serialized to support F1 will be the biggest in the world. I see Cricket’s fame is reducing after the England series loss (miserable) and not many interested in T20 now adays(empty Champs league T20 grounds). Still no one in India likes to be a mid range team, win 2-3 or podium in 5 races, and he will have sponsorships to drown his whole castle in Bangalore with money.
      I know how we spoke with pride when Fisi got pole in SPA and completed 2nd. Everyone thought F India was next red bull, and the news coverage was simply amazing, with Fisi’s pics in major cities’ hoardings (Bangalore/Chennai). India is a passionate crowd, more so like Brazil, and yes we never get pride in being 2nd to anyone. That is why there is only Cricket where we can make our own dumb pitches and invite cold countries during hot summers and win a series or two(yeah World cup, but I dont want to get into that in this premium F1 site).
      I hope Mallya does decide on long term and also has podium finishes in his To-do list.

  3. Even if he does sell the team I won’t be surprise at all as he own a cricket franchise in India which is more popular then F1.But I don’t think that he need to sell the team as they are improving day by day.

    1. @wasif1 yes, they’re improving day by day, and it would have no sense to sell the team now. Of course, the price might be higher, but they have still margin of improvement.

  4. ‘Giancarlo will stay with us until the end of 2009, he will not go to Ferrari’

    1. @glue lol! Very funny :)

  5. All I want to know about FI is whether they’re going to put the Hulk in a seat. It’s really annoying that a guy who could eventually become a great talent has been sat on the sidelines for a year (although admittedly he could have had that Williams seat if he brought some cash but I can understand why he didn’t want to do that).

    1. I would think Hulk is a great talent already Steph! But i fully agree, that this is the news I want to hear from them.

      1. @BasCB you’re probably right but he has so much more potential that’s all I meant and hasn’t got the results yet. I still daydream about his pole at Brazil :P

        1. @steph That was really an amazing pole position, wasn’t it! Even more amazing Williams had to drop him after that.
          I really get worked up when i see PM and others writing how Hulk did nothing special, just happened to be there at the right moment.

          1. @BasCB I agree. It was very special. He did everything right. The Williams was good in low grip conditions but Rubens made a mistake while Nico just kept going faster and faster pulling out wonderful times. He got the tyres right up to a perfect temperature and his lines were so clean and precise in very tricky conditions. His gap to I think Seb (correct me if I’m wrong) was just stunning. It was a great one for the fans too because I think Williams has a soft spot in a lot of fans (even me and I was far from a fan) so it was a real underdog moment and I remember everyone going wild on the liveblog.

          2. He did do something special, only in special conditions.

    2. Its also a problem that he is german. Bernie dont more germans in F1.

  6. Seems like a wrong info, Considering the good work they have been doing this season. On a lighter note …”Someone from Renault has to do with this false news ??”

  7. Mallya will not sell this team; this team gives him exclusive branding & also keeps him in the news. As alcohol advertisement are banned in India… he is trying to be creative & trying hard to promote his brands.

    1. Alcohol ads banned in India? No! Tobacco ads are banned, not alcohol

      1. How ‘kingfisher’ advertised? – ‘King of good times’. Not plainly as alcohol. Same goes for that alcohol brand that is being promoted as a music and not alcohol. So Dev is right

        1. look at McDowell’s, they do advertise as alcohol

          1. McDowell’s advertise it’s platinum soda, so does Bagpiper & there are others who advertise music CDs. kingfisher advertises it’s airlines.

  8. I’d say it’s more likely that he’s looking to sell some shares in the team rather than sell the team outright.

    1. @@prisoner-monkeys – agree or he may issue shares & list it on the stock exchange…

  9. When the negative global economic crunch hit most next year many business model will change. We shall see.

  10. Seems like a rather silly time to fire up the rumour-mill, with the Indian GP only a few weeks away.

  11. “I was shocked to read a media report that I am selling the Force India Formula 1 team.”
    Translation: I was fully aware and prepared a legally advised response.

    “This is completely untrue and without any basis whatsoever.”
    Translation: A share sell off/merger likely; thus making his statement technically correct.
    And it challenges the media to reveal sources, which they can’t do, to prove otherwise

    “I take great pride in having been able to put an Indian team on the Formula 1 world championship grid and have worked very hard to greatly improve the performance of the team.”
    Comment: Can’t dispute the ‘pride’ & hard work; though I understand, (perhaps incorrectly), there main engineering base is in the UK so the term “Indian owned” might be more applicable.

    1. Correct me, but if we are to go by engineering base, 9 of the teams are based in Britain. Does that make them British, No. If he is proud to project his team as an Indian team why should it be otherwise

    2. And your translation proved to be spot on only 5 days later!

  12. It’s usually futile to speculate on such issues. I tend to agree that he might be looking for partners to shed some weight off his shoulders but to sell the team now makes no sense whatsoever. Yes, his airline is suffering and has huge levels of debt, but that is the case with almost all airlines today. His liquor business, on the other hand, has always done extremely well and continues to do so. I do not see any major problems with his finances to suggest that he’s cash-strapped and would want to sell the team.
    One thing I agree though, he should get an actual “team principal” for the team and lend himself more to his core businesses. But who am I to say, he definitely knows more about his businesses than any of us!

  13. He has always been involved in F1 ever he since he sponsored Benetton in 1997…..seems very unlikely that he would sell off his team after all these years of involvement

  14. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    7th October 2011, 17:55

    Force India has shown consistency throughout the years and has even survived when big teams like BMW or Toyota preferred to give up. Let’s not forget Red Bull started on a similar way (I used to mock on Coulthard’s performance in the RB after his succesful years in McLaren) but then they started small but steady progress until being now the unbeaten team. Force India has in DiResta that raw potential Vettel showed just few years ago. So they are on the right action course.

  15. wow, if he sells there will be hell to pay concerning the indian track.

  16. Sounds like a sale in the AIR to me. :-(
    Maybe not a majority stake.
    Really like what the team has achieved and the fact they give some potentially great drivers a chance.
    Will we see Di Resta and Hulk in Vijays team next session?
    That’s two questions one, the drivers and the owner ;-)

  17. I may be wrong, but I thought I heard somewhere that he had sold his airline company

    1. he did not sell his airline company, he ran two types of airline services Kingfisher Airlines & Kingfisher Red. he has stopped Kingfisher Red which was a low cost Airline. i understand that this low margin business is not where he wants his focus to be. Kingfisher Red was bought by Mallya few years ago, his Kingfisher Airline had not complete the required number of years of operation to start international Airline so he bought Deccan Airlines, renamed it Kingfisher Red & started international flights. Media has always been unfair to him when compared to other Airline companies owned by Gangsters of Govt.

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