Qatar denies talks to lease Silverstone F1 circuit

Qatar Investment Authority refutes media reports, says 'no relevant negotiations' have taken place
Qatar Investment Authority has denied interest in the UKs Silverstone race circuit
By Andy Sambidge
Tue 30 Aug 2011 07:20 PM

Qatar Investment Authority has denied media reports that it is close to a deal to take over the world famous Silverstone racing circuit in the UK.

An official source at Qatar Investment Authority told Qatar News Agency that there were "no relevant negotiations, currently nor in the past, in this respect".

The comment follows media reports carried by international news agencies that Silverstone owners, the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC), had entered into exclusive talks with the Qatari sovereign wealth fund to lease the site for 150 years in a deal said to be worth more than $400m.

The report, which was initially run by the UK's Independent newspaper, said QIA was conducting due diligence on the circuit, with a final decision is expected to be made in six months.

The BRDC is owned by 850 racing personalities, including Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Nigel Mansell.

Qatar has an extensive portfolio of British assets. The wealth fund already counts luxury London department store Harrods and stakes in Barclays, retailer J Sainsbury’s and the London Stock Exchange among its investments.

Qatari Diar, QIA’s property arm, this month announced it had won a bid to buy London’s Olympic Village in a £557m in a joint deal with the UK developer Delancey.

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