The owner of Arrows has denied reports that the troubled Formula One team have been sold. The Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport has said that a company called German Grand Prix Racing has taken a majority shareholding in the cash-strapped team. The company - a front for unidentified investors from the United Arab Emirates - was expected to attempt to enter the team to race in F1 in 2003, Gazzetta said.The new buyers were said to have bought out Arrows' chief shareholder, the investment bank Morgan Grenfell Private Equity, and to have taken a controlling share of more than 51%. But a spokesman for Deutsche Bank - which controls Morgan Grenfell - denied that the team had been sold. "Talks are ongoing, but nothing has been sold yet," he said. He said he had not heard of the group that were supposedly involved in the buy-out, and that "not much has changed" since the team collapsed in the summer.
Gazzetta had said that team boss Tom Walkinshaw will be asked to stay on to run the team and retain a minority shareholding. Gazzetta quoted Oliver Behring - owner of Asset Trust Partners, the holding company of German Grand Prix Racing - saying the new owners did not wish to be known."They have bought more than 51% of Arrows, but I cannot say how much in total," Behring is quoted. "In any case, the acquisition comprises and now goes beyond the shareholding of the merchant bank Morgan Grenfell, which is now out of the picture." Even if the team are sold, and Arrows are allowed back into F1, the team face a number of serious hurdles before they can race. They have no engine supplier and no title sponsor and many of the staff have left. On top of that, Arrows could be barred from the championship on the grounds that they missed six of the last seven races last year.