Swiss Private Banker Enters Formula 1

A Swiss investor group is taking over Sauber, a financially troubled racing team in Formula 1. Among the investors is Raymond Baer, the honorary chairman of Julius Baer.

Sauber's racing team is being sold to Swiss investment vehicle Longbow Finance, according to a statement on Wednesday. 

Purchase contracts for the new owners to buy Peter Sauber’s two-thirds share as well as team boss Monisha Kaltenborn, who owns one-third of the team were signed in recent days.

Kantenborn, a protege of Peter Sauber’s and the first female CEO of a Formula 1 racing team, will maintain her position as team boss and CEO as well as join the board. Sauber leaves the team, which is based in a rural area outside of Zurich.

Baer Ties

Intriguingly, Raymond Baer is part of Longbow Finance’s board. The former private banker is now honorary chairman of Julius Baer, which has been the sponsor of Formula E for nearly two years. The racing series is an environmentally-friendly alternative to Formula 1.

Longbow is owned by privately-held packaging firm Tetra Laval, or Tetra Pak. This belongs to Sweden’s wealthy Rausing family. Tetra Laval is also a sponsor of Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson.

Luckless Investor

It isn't the Rausing family which is behind Tetra Pak's backing of Longbow and Sauber, according to motor-sports portal «Speedweek» Instead, it is CEO Dennis Joensson, who is apparently a huge motor racing fan.

Longbow doesn't have the best track record with automotive investments, as free newspaper «Blick am Abend» reports. Longbow granted financier Lorenzo Schmid a loan of more than 20 million Swiss francs nine years ago to develop «Mindset,» an electric commuter vehicle.

The «Swiss Tesla» never took off, and Mindset filed for bankruptcy in 2012.

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