Posted Oct 31st 2014 11:00AM
The Nürburgring is among the greatest racetracks of the world, with decades of fantastic motorsports history born on the snaking course. However, it seems that running the place as a business is about as difficult as learning the 12.9 miles (20 kilometres) of corners on the Nordschleife. After a long bankruptcy sale, things appeared to be looking up for the track when a Düsseldorf-based business called Capricon bought the circuit for 77 million euros, plus the promise of future investment. However, just months after being sold once, the 'Ring has yet another new owner: Russian billionaire Viktor Kharitonin.
According to the German business magazine Wirtschafts Woche, the change in ownership came because Capricorn wasn't keeping up with its payments for the track. The company's boss Robtertino Wild was supposed to pay regular 5-million-euro ($7.1 millIon) installments but reportedly missed the second payment. When he couldn't come up with the funds, Kharitonin stepped in to take over for Capricorn's share. According to the magazine, the Russian has not only already paid the missed amount, but put the money down for December early. He has also set up a company called NR Holding AG to run things.
Kharitonin is a founder of Pharmstandard, Russia's largest pharmaceutical company. According to Wirtschafts Woche, Forbes estimates his net worth at over $1 billion and puts him as the 1,342nd richest person in the world.
While Kharitonin now has a controlling stake in the 'Ring, he's not the sole shareholder. According to the local Rhein Zeitung newspaper, Capricorn's bid only covers two-thirds of the track; the remaining third belongs to German motorsports company GetSpeed.
According to Rhein Zeitung, there are no changes to any of the tracks future events or races at this time.