Andretti was in discussions to purchase an 80 percent stake in Islero Investments. It is a Swedish-owned, Swiss-based company that runs Sauber, which owns the Alfa Romeo F1 Team.
Through Andretti Autosport, Andretti was planning on buying this stake and purchasing the Alfa Romeo F1 team. It was set to be a return to F1 for the company. However, it looks like that will not happen, according to multiple sources.
The reports suggest that the takeover was set to be completed during the US GP weekend. However, unforeseen financial disparities emerged, despite the company tabling a lucrative offer of over $300 million.
As a result, Andretti ended talks with Alfa Romeo, officially putting to bed weeks of rumours and speculations.
11th hour change
According to the reliable Auto Motor und Sport, Sauber owner Finn Rausing wanted Andretti to stump up an additional $50 million per year for the next five years. He wanted this payment paid up front.
This was to ensure that in addition to the takeover, Alfa Romeo could function at the mandated budget cap should the team face any difficulties landing sponsors in the future. This was not met with affirmation from Andretti, who backed out of negotiations hearing this condition put forth to him.
Alfa Romeo has already signed Valtteri Bottas from Mercedes, and he will join the team at the start of next season. The second seat is still up for grabs, and until now, IndyCar star Colton Herta was the favourite to take it, given his deal with Andretti Autosport.
However, with the deal collapsing, the rumours regarding the second seat are back on the menu. F2 driver Guanyu Zhou is the favourite to partner Bottas.
The Chinese rookie will come with significant financial backing, which will please Alfa Romeo. They need the money now that the takeover has officially failed.