Porsche SA buys Kyalami

By admin
24 July 2014

Porsche SA bought the Kyalami race track, after just one minute and 50 seconds of bidding.

The liquidated Kyalami race circuit was bought by Porsche SA at auction for R205 million in Johannesburg on Thursday.

The auction, which lasted only around one minute and 50 seconds, fetched the highest price for a single lot in South African history.

High Street Auction Company lead auctioneer Joff van Reenen said the opening bid of R200m was decided on by the bidders.

"I hope he meant 200 million, he held up two fingers," he said.

Lot 25, the farm Bothasfontein, better known as Kyalami, is a 72 hectare property in Midrand.

There was a R4m registration fee to participate in the auction, and this would be refunded to unsuccessful bidders.

The auction company's joint managing director Lance Chalwin-Milton said he could not comment on rumours that Richard Branson of Virgin was one of the other bidders for the race track.

He expressed satisfaction that the track would remain in the South African motorsport industry.

A 15 percent deposit was required, but there would be no buyer's commission on the deal.

There was a palpable sense of anticipation in the packed hall before the auction started.

Journalists and photographers on the sidelines jostled to get a view of the action, as those attending the auction chatted in their seats.

Telephone bidders also called in from other provinces and overseas.

Auctioneer Van Reenen explained the rules of the auction, including that the bar would only open after all bidding was closed, in accordance with the law.

Van Reenen, who has 20 years' experience as an auctioneer, rattled off the bids, amplified throughout the hall, at such speed that it sounded as though he was speaking in tongues.

The auction company previously said the Kyalami auction was the country's first race track auction.

Last Thursday, Chalwin-Milton said in a statement the auction would go ahead, following a court application seeking to prevent it.

Eleven applicants had contended they had certain rights to the Kyalami track, but these claims were either waived by agreement or abandoned.

The court ordered that the auction could proceed, but the reserve price was revised to R200m from R129m.

The track has hosted famous F1 drivers, including Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, and Ayrton Senna.

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