The previously announced sale of the assets of Nürburgring GmbH, the private operator of the legendary Nürburgring race track in Germany, has commenced this week, with virtually anyone open to placing a bid.
The track itself is owned by the German government however, which means any new operator will still have some requirements to meet.
First and foremost, the new operator must agree to maintain access to the general public, though it doesn’t necessarily mandate tourist drives. It’s possible, if not entirely likely, that access could be restricted to spectators.
It was first reported last July that Nürburgring GmbH was insolvent and was to be put under bankruptcy protection by the German government. A public bailout was put on the table but it ended up being blocked by the European Commission on the grounds that it would constitute illegal state aid.
In its announcement of the acceptance of tender offers this week, Nürburgring GmbH said the various facilities at the race track, including the organization of industry test days, motorsport events, and even the ill-conceived amusement park, employs approximately 300 staff and generates annual turnover of up to 60 million euros (approximately $77 million).
Unfortunately, even this was not enough to service Nürburgring GmbH’s debts, which are alleged to total almost $500 million.
Bidding for the ‘Ring will end on June 12, 2013, which means we may see a new operator announced within weeks. Early estimates place the value at around 130 million euros ($167 million).
Stay tuned for an update.