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August 8, 2009

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Sauber claims efforts to take over BMW rejected

GERMAN carmaker BMW, which last week announced its exit from Formula One, has rejected an offer from team founder Peter Sauber to take over the team, Sauber said.

But BMW said it was still in talks to reach a deal with Sauber as well as other interested parties about the sale of BMW's 80 percent stake in the Formula One team.

Sauber, which holds 20 percent, said he tried to rescue the team. "But negotiations with BMW broke down, because demands had simply been too high for me," he said.

As a result, he had not been able to sign the Concorde Agreement, which would have guaranteed payments running into millions, securing the team's future.

The governing body of Formula One (FIA) and the 12 teams signed a new Concorde Agreement last week to safeguard the sport until 2012. The document outlines how Formula One is run and how its revenues are distributed.

BMW confirmed in a statement that it could not sign the Concorde Agreement and that talks had failed due to time constraints.

"Since the announcement on 29 July of our strategic realignment, we have done everything in our power to reach a rapid agreement on the sale of the team based at Hinwil," BMW said in a statement posted on its Website.

"Regrettably, despite every effort, this has proved unsuccessful.

"The tight timeframe we faced simply did not allow us and the interested parties and investors enough time to find a solution for such a complex transaction.

"This means the team cannot sign the Concorde Agreement at present. The aim is now, over the coming weeks, to find a solution together with potential interested parties and Peter Sauber. Beyond that, we will see the 2009 season through to its conclusion with our unstinting sporting commitment."

Sauber said he was still willing to help but that it was now up to BMW to find a solution.


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