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Andretti explains "11th-hour" breakdown of Sauber takeover

Andretti explains "11th-hour" breakdown of Sauber takeover

Andretti explains "11th-hour" breakdown of Sauber takeover

Andretti explains "11th-hour" breakdown of Sauber takeover

Michael Andretti has revealed talks for a takeover of Sauber collapsed at the "11th hour" due to what he has described as "control issues".

Andretti had been in discussions to acquire an 80 per cent stake in Islero Investments, the Swedish-owned, Swiss-based company that runs Sauber and in turn the Alfa Romeo F1 team.

Despite an offer on the table of just over $300million, it had been suggested the deal broke down for financial reasons, and that Sauber owner Finn Rausing was seeking an additional $50m per annum for the next five years - paid up front - to ensure Alfa Romeo could operate at the budget cap should sponsorship difficulties arise.

Speaking at a press conference to unveil new rookie IndyCar signing Devlin DeFrancesco, Andretti made clear he wanted "to put an end to some of those rumours that the deal fell through because of financial reasons".

He added: “Unfortunately, at the 11th hour, control issues changed and it was a deal we had to step away from because we couldn’t accept it.

“I always said we were only going to do it if it’s right for us and in the end, it wasn’t right for us."

Andretti has not ruled out a venture into F1 in the future, insisting "our eyes are always going to stay open, we’re always going to look for an opportunity there”.

Crucially, given his suggestion over control at Sauber, he declared: "When we do expand, we have to make sure it’s a proper deal that we know we can be competitive.

"That’s very important for our brand - to be competitive in anything we do.”

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