• Germany's news in English
 

Legendary Nürburgring track to go bankrupt

Published: 18 Jul 2012 06:39 GMT+02:00
Updated: 18 Jul 2012 11:57 GMT+02:00

The Rhineland Palatinate government decided it had run out of options to try to save the Nürburgring firm on Wednesday morning – because a hoped-for rescue package from the European Commission seemed unlikely.

State Premier Kurt Beck said the €13 million that had been requested was not expected to be approved by July 31. Therefore, “with greatest probability, bankruptcy would be applied for, for the end of the month due to lack of liquidity,” he said.

He criticised the Commission, which he said had given out positive signals on the matter just a few days ago, but had then simply stopped dealing with the matter.

“Not deciding on a European level means a lack of power to act for Rhineland Palatinate,” he said.

The Rhein Zeitung newspaper said on Tuesday it had heard from good sources that the European Commission was not going to rescue the Nürburgring GmbH firm.

The Rhineland Palatinate state government had asked the Commission to pump €13 million into the firm as part of a rescue package which would also seee the firm would defer payment on a €330 million loan from a state-owned bank.

But European competition authorities refused to approve the plan and the firm which owns the track will now go into administration.

Administrators will then soon be responsible for all contracts, whether this be with Bernie Ecclestone for the Formula 1 races or with concert organiser Marek Lieberberg for the Rock am Ring festival.

European authorities are already in the midst of checking whether more than €500 million has been funnelled into the racetrack and leisure complex in contravention of competition rules.

The Rhein Zeitung said that tax payers should expect to pay heartily for the situation, as the entire complex is said to be only worth €126 million – according to a study compiled by Ernst & Young for the state.

The figures show the firm is €413 million in debt, including €330 million borrowed from the state-owned bank and €83 million to share-holders, the paper said. The state could end up sitting on debts of around €287 million.

The current season of events at the Ring will probably continue, but the future will depend on the administrators. They are obliged to get as much value out of the situation as possible for the creditors, the largest of which is the Rhineland Palatinate state.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

07:02 July 18, 2012 by aikaheimo
"This Sunday¦#39;s German Formula 1 Grand Prix is likely to be the last at the legendary Nürburgring " I have bought tickets to see F1 at Hockenheim this Sunday. Should I call the police now for fraud?
10:19 July 18, 2012 by pepsionice
I wouldn't worry...the state will buy it, and operate it as a loss....like the dozens of other public structures they operate at a loss.
22:27 July 18, 2012 by Screeper
Is this article discussing the bankruptcy of just the race circuit or the entire Nordschleife as well?
Today's headlines
Greece crisis
Greek offer 'no basis for discussion': Schäuble
Pro-EU Greeks demonstrate outside the Athens parliament on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Greek offer 'no basis for discussion': Schäuble

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said Wednesday crisis-hit Greece was sending mixed signals in debt talks and called on its government to "clarify its position" before negotiations with creditors can resume. READ  

Weathermen issue snow alert in heatwave
Could this be July in North Rhine-Westphalia? Photo: DPA

Weathermen issue snow alert in heatwave

The German Weather Service (DWD) issued a weather warning for North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) on Wednesday predicting 5 to 10 cm of snow and winds of up to 60 km/h. READ  

Analysis
How German media shaped the Greece crisis
Angela Merkel faces a battery of microphones and cameras at a eurozone summit in Brussels on June 22nd. Photo: DPA

How German media shaped the Greece crisis

It's often said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel is the one person who truly matters when it comes to how the eurozone deals with Greece. But how much freedom does 'Mutti' really have in the face of the public and the media? READ  

Women trade punches over neglected dog poo
'This is not a dog toilet.' Photo: DPA

Women trade punches over neglected dog poo

Bergisch Gladbach in North Rhine-Westphalia, hometown of supermodel Heide Klum, was once linked in Germans' minds with the catwalk. But now it is just as infamous for a dog walk, after two women came to blows over a mound of pooch poo. READ  

Referee costs Germany dear against USA
Head coach Silvia Neid (r) with Celia Sasic (l) on the bench. Photo: DPA

Referee costs Germany dear against USA

Germany coach Silvia Neid said she found the referee's decision-making 'sad' in her country's 2-0 semi-final defeat to the USA in the Women's World Cup in Montreal on early Wednesday morning. READ  

Train strikes
Train drivers and Bahn bury the hatchet
Three ICE (intercity) trains stand in a siding. Photo: DPA

Train drivers and Bahn bury the hatchet

The Train Drivers' Union (GDL) and Deutsche Bahn (DB) have finally agreed to end their dispute over drivers' work conditions, offering hope that nine months of rail chaos has finally come to an end. READ  

European heatwave
Keep cool and stay safe in the July heatwave
A couple leaping into an open-air pool in Freiburg. Photo: DPA

Keep cool and stay safe in the July heatwave

Here's how to keep cool as the mercury soars during this week's heatwave in Germany. And don't forget your pets! READ  

Former judge to see NSA target list
Photo: DPA

Former judge to see NSA target list

The Bundestag (German parliament) inquiry into spying by the US National Security Agency (NSA) has chosen a former judge to examine lists of targets given to German spies by the Americans. READ  

Germanwings tragedy
Germany learns lessons on pilots’ mental health
Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt (left) and aviation safety task force leader Matthias von Randow. Photo: DPA:

Germany learns lessons on pilots’ mental health

In response to the Germanwings flight tragedy, Minister of Transport Alexander Dobrindt presented plans to strengthen mental health care for pilots while Germanwings announced further compensation for relatives of the flight's victims. READ  

Germany: land of cheap beer and drunkards?
Getting müllered? Football star Thomas Müller enjoys a Mass. Photo: DPA

Germany: land of cheap beer and drunkards?

It's official. If getting drunk on a park bench is your thing, look no further than Germany as an ideal location. A study released on Monday shows it's cheap. And you'll have plenty of company. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
An eye for an eye? Mum protects child in playground with pepperspray
Politics
Follow our LIVE blog as Europe holds breath over Greece crisis
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's final day in Germany
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's second day in Germany
National
Queen Elizabeth II's first day in Germany - as it happened
National
Bus passengers tell fake racists where to get off
Politics
What's really in the Queen's handbag?
National
Germans say USA doesn't respect freedom
National
Yes, you CAN buy adult e-books before 10pm in Germany
VIDEO: Watch a 93-metre turbine crash to earth in slow motion
Gallery
Who's got a shot at the German Film Awards
Rhineland
Anger over 'child-free' beer garden
National
How do you do, Majestät?
National
Man defends right to pee in public with tear gas
Features
The Germans who won Waterloo for the British
Frankfurt
Should Germany ban circus animals?
Hamburg
Where people are having the most sex in Germany
Culture
Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Not this student...
National
Dresden's three-decade-long red light
Politics
Upper house calls for gay marriage now
Berlin
Berlin named 3rd-best city worldwide
Sport
In search of the toughest firefighter
Business & Money
German firms shine for European engineering students
Gallery
Hitler's paintings up for auction
National
German's 70-year search for murdered US pilot
Politics
What the G7 leaders agreed at Elmau
Business & Money
What really makes Germans happy
National
Playmobil builder leaves worldwide legacy
National
The car share that became a drug run
Politics
What Snowden revealed to Germany
Rhineland
Why wolf cubs are being raised by hand
National
Hitler's booze cave found
National
Environment makes Germany worth living in
Culture
What's top of the charts in June
Gallery
Germany's most beautiful cycle routes
Business & Money
The business case for Britain in the EU
Rhineland
Why farmers are free to pong up the countryside
National
German restaurants among world's best
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

6,946
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd