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Silverstone coy on reported Jaguar Land Rover bid

Silverstone coy on reported Jaguar Land Rover bid

LONDON (Reuters) – Silverstone said on Thursday it had received no formal offer from Indian-owned luxury carmaker Jaguar Land Rover amid media reports of a planned bid for the British Grand Prix circuit.

The British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) that owns the central English track and surrounding land said in a statement that it received a number of confidential approaches and considered them on their merits.

“Should an attractive offer be received from any party, the BRDC Board would seek a mandate from Club members before progressing it,” it added.

A Silverstone Circuit spokeswoman added that “there has been no formal offer received from JLR”. There was no immediate comment from the carmaker.

The Financial Times and other media reported that JLR, owned by Tata Motors, had prepared a bid after asking property consultant Cushman&Wakefield in July to value the site.

It said that, under the terms being considered, Silverstone would become JLR’s home with a ‘heritage centre’ to show off the company’s cars, offices, a hotel and visitor centre.

The market value of the circuit, industrial units and land for potential development was put at 22.7 million pounds ($33.87 million).

Jaguar, at the time owned by Ford, had their own Formula One team between 2000 and 2004 before selling to Red Bull. They also have a long tradition in sportscar racing at Le Mans.

Silverstone, the site of a former World War Two airfield, hosted the first Formula One championship grand prix in 1950 and has a long-term contract for the British round.

JLR, which has been rapidly expanding its model line-up and volumes with new production planned in continental Europe and South America, recorded a pre-tax loss of 157 million pounds in the three months to the end of September.

The company’s Chief Executive Ralf Speth told Reuters in an interview last month that he did not expect his company to match the 2.61 billion pound pre-tax profit it made in 2014/15.

($1 = 0.6702 pounds)

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Justin Palmer)

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