Nürburgring to be sold to American investment group?

Reuters news agency reports that American financial consortium HIG is poised to buy historic facility for $82 - $96 million

After officially going on the selling block back in March of last year, the famed Nürburgring facility is reportedly in negotiations to be sold to American financial corsortium HIG Capital based in Miami, according to a report from the international Reuters news agency. The deal is said to amount to no more than $82 - $96 million and reportedly includes all the assets of the sprawling Nürburgring complex, which comprise both the famed 13-mile "Nordschleife" course as well as the newer 3.23-mile "GP Strecke" circuit, the museum, arena, hotels, amusement park, and shopping mall. In doing so, HIG Capital supposedly outmaneuvered F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who was also bidding for the facility ostensibly to help keep the newer GP circuit in the F1 schedule (the Nürburgring alternates with Hockenheim every year to host a Grand Prix)—although there are rumors suggesting that some of those in the HIG consortium are also involved with F1, which could signal that there are other forces at work behind the scenes with the same agenda as Ecclestone.

The German regional-government-owned facility went into administration proceedings after numerous mismanaged upgrades in the previous decade (including an ill-conceived amusement park—dubbed "NuroDisney"—complete with massive roller-coaster built to mimic an F1 car) predictably ended up being complete busts financially. When previously promised private funding suddenly vanished, it meant that some 350 million Euros (more than $450 million) of public European tax funds ended up being used for the construction. This didn’t sit well with either the European Union or the non-motor-enthusiast public, who soon saw the Nürburgring as a financial albatross that needed to be jettisoned as quickly as possible.

Although spokesmen for the facility administrator state that no decision on a buyer has been made, HIG has already registered paperwork with the German federal financial cartel authority Bundeskartellamt showing that it now holds significant portions of Nürburgring assets. A final decision will not be announced until the end of March.