Toto Wolff sells some of his remaining Williams F1 team shares
|By Jonathan Noble||Friday, June 20th 2014, 08:52 GMT|
Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has sold a stake of his shares in the Williams Formula 1 team to American healthcare entrepreneur Brad Hollinger.
Wolff has been looking to sell off his 15 per cent stake in the Williams team ever since he was recruited to head up Mercedes' efforts.
He has now agreed a deal with Hollinger, whose Vibra Healthcare company owns and runs 90 hospitals in the United States, to take a five per cent shareholding in the Williams team - with an option to purchase the remaining 10 per cent stake he has later this year.
Wolff said: "It was always the plan to reduce the shareholding in Williams towards a level that is clearly a financial investment.
"This was important to Daimler for conflict of interest reasons and for compliance reasons.
"But it was quite a task to find somebody who was good for the company, who was good for the family, and who had the spirit I had when I joined Williams as a financial investor."
Hollinger, who owns several historic F1 cars including a 1991 Benetton and 1997 Williams, reckoned that it made sense to get involved in the sport because he sees a positive future for grand prix racing.
"I think F1 is right on the cusp of another explosive growth path," said Hollinger. "The whole social media element is an opportunity that F1 can really tap in to and accelerate even more.
"I think it will create an opening for the US market and I would like to be involved in that process as well."
The new structure means that Frank Williams owns 52 per cent of the team, Wolff holds 10 per cent, Patrick Head has nine per cent, Hollinger has five per cent and the remainder is held by stockmarket investors.