A German automotive parts supplier has purchased the bankrupt Nürburgring. Although earlier reports suggested an investor group called HIG Capital had purchased the famous race track known as the "Green Hell," Germany's Capricorn Group announced today that it has the winning bid for the Nürburgring.
Capricorn will take ownership of the Nürburgring and all its assets on January 1, 2015. The company says the price it paid for the track is "in excess of" €100 million ($139 million), of which €25 million ($35 million) is said to be earmarked for investments and improvements to the track. According to Germany's Der Spiegel, Capricorn has extensive motorsport operations and already employs 100 people in a facility at the Nürburgring.
"As an enthusiastic motor sport fan, the Nürburgring has always been a passion of mine," Capricorn managing partner Dr. Robertino Wild said in a statement. "We have identified the enormous potential of this unique race venue and would like to optimize the existing structures."
Once it takes control, Capricorn plans to keep the Nürburgring open to the public, including for the popular "tourist days" when anyone can drive the track; to motorsports events like the 24 Hours of Nürburgring; and to automotive companies for testing . The company will also run the on-site hotels. However, Capricorn says it will close the "Ring Racer" roller coaster that, in part, sent the Nürburgring's current owners into bankruptcy in 2012. It will also close the Eifeldorf Grüne Hölle hotel and restaurant complex to make way for an, "Automotive Technology Cluster." Though no details have yet been provided on purpose or design of the "Cluster," Capricorn promises the move will create new jobs in the region.