With just 19 days to go for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix, Sahara Group on Wednesday bought 42.5 percent stake, worth $100 million, in the Vijay Mallya owned Force India F1 team, which has been re-christened as Sahara Force India.
Sahara Group, headed by Subroto Roy, inked an agreement with Mallya’s UB Group, which will also have 42.5 percent stake in the team. The remaining 15 percent will be with the Mol family. Mallya will continue to be the Team Principal.
Liqour baron Mallya had bought the Spyker Ferrari F1 Team in 2007, reportedly for about for 90 million euros. He then renamed the team as ‘Force India’ for the 2008 season.
The Force India team is at the sixth position in the constructor’s championships with 48 points in the current season.
Mallya also owns IPL team Royal Challengers. On the other side, Sahara Group that has interests in financial services, real estate, media and hospitality, is a major promoter of sports in India. Sahara owns the new IPL team Pune Warriors India and also sponsors India national cricket team. It had also supported the Indian national hockey team.
India will host its first Formula 1 Grand Prix on October 30, 2011 on a 5.14 km track, in Greater Noida built by Jaypee Sports International (JPSI).