Russian billionaire buys Nurburgring


Oct.31 (GMM) After the Capricorn deal fell through, a new owner for the German grand prix venue at the Nurburgring has already been found.

Until recently, the embattled Nurburgring's buyer was the Dusseldorf automotive company Capricorn, whose chief Robertino Wild failed to make the second due instalment payment.

So the German business publication Wirtschaftswoche has named the new majority buyer as Russian billionaire Victor Charitonin.

The English spelling of his surname is Kharitonin, as Forbes explains that together with fellow Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich the 41-year-old established the pharmaceutical company Pharmstandard.

Wirtschaftswoche said Kharitonin declined to comment.

But the report claims he has already made the second and third due payment instalments for the fabled German circuit, although the latter is not due until December.

"This is a positive signal for operators, customers and employees," confirmed Pietro Nuvoloni, a spokesman for the insolvency administrator.

He added that a company called NR Holding AG, involving "the Russian businessman Viktor Charitonin", has indeed taken over Capricorn's two thirds shareholding.

Nuvoloni would not say how much Kharitonin paid for the majority stake, but the Capricorn deal was said to be costing the German company EUR 77 million.