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BMW Sauber reject takeover offer

Peter Sauber
Sauber's own team was taken over by BMW in 2005

BMW Sauber have rejected a takeover offer from founder Peter Sauber.

Sauber, who holds a 20% stake in the German team, revealed he offered to take it over last week after they announced plans to exit from Formula 1.

He revealed that talks had collapsed, saying the automaker's demands were "far too high".

The team say they are still in talks with Sauber as well as other interested parties over the sale of BMW's 80% stake in the team.

BMW, which took over Sauber in 2005, are due to withdraw from Formula 1 at the end of this season, citing "current developments in motorsport" as the reason for their decision.

In order to compete next season, teams had to sign the new Concorde Agreement that governs F1 racing, outlining how the sport is run and how its revenues are distributed, by Wednesday.

I am incredibly disappointed and disconsolate. For me this is the bitterest day in my 40-year career in motor sport

Peter Sauber

The signing of the new agreement heralded a final resolution to the political rows that have destabilised the sport throughout 2009.

The failure of Sauber's bid means he has been unable to meet the deadline.

"I have been unable to sign the Concorde Agreement, which guarantees payments worth millions and would have secured the future of the team," Sauber told Autosport.

"I am incredibly disappointed and disconsolate. For me this is the bitterest day in my 40-year career in motor sport. It is also a devastating setback for the team.

"Other solutions must now be sought. The responsibility for that lies in the hands of BMW. Needless to say, I am willing to help, as before."

BMW motor sport director Mario Theissen insisted that "everything in our power to reach a rapid agreement" had been done.

606: DEBATE
*A_E_Marsh

"Regrettably, despite every effort, this has proved unsuccessful," Theissen said. "The tight timeframe we faced simply did not allow us and the interested parties and investors enough time to find a solution for such a complex transaction.

"This means the team cannot sign the Concorde Agreement at present. The aim now is, over the coming weeks, to find a solution together with potential interested parties and Peter Sauber."

The Formula One Teams Association (Fota) said it will support plans for the team to sign up later if a buyer is found, providing the FIA governing body is also in agreement.

BMW is the second major manufacturer to leave the sport in eight months after Honda's withdrawal in December.

Fota, which represents all teams on the grid with the exception of Williams and Force India, has pledged to offer its continued support to BMW.

A statement said; "Fota teams have immediately consulted each other and are ready to assure all the necessary support to BMW, whose membership in the association is confirmed, to continue its involvement in the F1 sport."



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see also
BMW to quit F1 at end of season
29 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
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What does BMW's exit mean for F1?
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BMW ditch Kers power-boost system
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BMW Sauber may consider F1 future
23 May 09 |  Formula 1
BMW Sauber's F1's history
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BMW Sauber
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Kubica in pole position for title tilt
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Global crisis ends Honda F1 era
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