Mallya pumps £20m into F1 operation

THE owner of whisky distiller Whyte & Mackay has pumped a further £20 million into his Formula One team ahead of the start of the motor racing season in Australia next week.

Accounts filed at Companies House for Silverstone-based Force India revealed that Watson, the personal investment vehicle used by Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya, loaned the team nearly £7m. Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines and beer and spirit businesses pumped in a further £13m through sponsorship of the team, which finished in sixth place in the constructors’ championship last season.

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Success on the track was matched by a rise in the company’s revenues – up to £48.5m in 2011 from £17m in 2010 following the sponsorship deals – and a narrowing of its losses to £26.7m from £40.3m.

Last month Mallya’s United Spirits outfit said the sale of its 49 per cent stake in Whyte & Mackay was one of several options being considered by the company to tackle its debts.