This project will forever be considered as Magma’s one that got away!!!!!!
In 2007 Magma started a review of Formula One following various discussions around the introduction of the customer team concept. After looking at a number of teams Magma concluded that Super Aguri represented the best acquisition target. Coincidently, Super Aguri was located at Magma’s Leafield Technical Centre where Ultramotive, Magma’s Product Development business was headquartered.
After a period of desk due diligence, Magma met with representatives from Honda at the Monza GP in September 2007 and then engaged with Super Aguri. Core to a successful outcome were various supply and sponsorship agreements with Honda F1 and Honda in Japan. After extensive travel to Japan and the Middle East and exhaustive meetings in Geneva and London Magma had secured agreements with all the key parties. Interestingly, only when it emerged that Aguri Suzuki and Magma founder Martin Leach raced together in the Hong Kong Kart Grand Prix was the deal concluded showing that human factors often play a key part in successful M&A. Magma also critically had to maintain secrecy in an industry that struggles to keep the rumour mill in check.
Magma developed a unique business model and engaged with a number of key financial backers. Magma agreed to exclusivity with a sovereign wealth fund who also held a number of diverse investments that could benefit from the global exposure that a Formula One platform could bring
In 2008 with 100’s of pages in legal agreements rapidly being completed Magma assumed day to day management of various aspects of team operations and development of the 2009 contender which would need to comply with radical new aero regulations. The designs developed formed part of the Brawn package.
Magma was revealed by CNN in March 2008 to be in discussions with Super Aguri just prior to the Australian Grand Prix.
With the global financial crisis looming Magma’s financial backers withdrew from the signing ceremony the night before and a winning car and commercial model was brought to an abrupt halt. Super Aguri withdrew from the 2008 World Championships shortly after.
Had the deal concluded the Team would have been running a sister car to the Brawn which won the World Drivers and Constructors Titles in 2009!!!!
Magma project deliverables:-
- Business model
- Acquisition target Identification
- Acquisition negotiation
- Technical Supply agreement
- Sponsorship agreements
- Business Strategy and Business Plan
- Due Diligence and Team personnel profiling
- Leadership recruitment
- Team Operational Management
- Press and reputation management