European Commission halts Nürburgring loan

Formula One Management's Bernie Ecclestone apparently might not be able to save the famed Nürburgring racing circuit

It looked like the famed Nürburgring racing circuit was headed into insolvency a few weeks ago with a report that it had accumulated millions of euros in debt.

However, the saviours of the track came along with a 254 million euro loan from the German state of Rhineland - Palatinate, which would save the circuit from being sold and would host many races in the future, including next year's German Grand Prix, which rotates with Baden Wurttemberg's Hockenheimring every other season. Even though rumours have been going around that Formula One Management's Bernie Ecclestone was not interested in buying the track, he seemed willing to contribute to this cause. It all seemed like there would be no more trouble for this situation.

But this past week, the wheels came off at the office of the European Commission

It has been decided that the investigation into financial aid to the world's famous racing circuit will be extended until it reaches a decision on whether or not the money - estimated now to be in excess of 524 million euros - is in line with the European Union's state aid rules.

Since then, the circuit has received additional public support measures, which according to the EU have included a rescheduling of interest payments on previous awarded loans, plus a subordination of claims and an additional shareholder's loan.

The public support measures had been decided on back in May to avoid not only the track's insolvency but also that of the nearby leisure park.

 

A plan to either liquidate or restructure the facility was included in the findings, and ultimately it was concluded that these measures were strongly linked to other aid measures.

The commission has also revealed that the Nürburgring may already have been a company in financial difficulty since as far back as 2008, which is when it originally received aid. Because the track has already had one bailout, it might be forced to wait until 2022 to apply for another one - something that the famous racing circuit might simply not have time for.

 


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