Surprise! Nürburgring sold to German industrial firm

Umm, not so fast, HIG...American investment group outbid at last minute for historic facility by Capricorn Group

Contrary to the report from Reuters news agency last week that the Nürburgring and its accompanying assets were in the process of being sold to American financial consortium HIG for approximately $95 million, it was surprisingly announced at a press conference held by the attorneys representing the insolvency proceedings today that the facility will instead be sold to the Capricorn Group, a Dusseldorf-based parts supplier to both the automotive industry and auto racing teams. The sale price is said to be €100 million ($138.6 million), plus an additional €25 million ($34.7 million) to be used in developing and upgrading the facility.

The Capricorn Group already has a large R&D facility at the Nürburgring, as do many other automotive industry companies. The prevailing opinion is that the new owners will continue to run the 937-acre facility as a test hub for the auto industry; a good number of companies use the historic 13-mile Nordschleife as the ultimate test track for their products, including many automakers (Hyundai recently built a €4.4 million research center on the grounds with direct access to the Nordschleife). There is no word on what will become of the Nordschleife's other main attraction, which were open track days that allowed any road-legal vehicle to run laps without any speed limits. Miami-based HIG was reportedly building a business plan around those track days, but those hopes were dashed in being outbid at the last minute by the Capricorn Group.