A sports management firm owned by a Saudi Arabian Prince has signed a memorandum of understanding with Richard Petty Motorsports co-owner George Gillett that will lead to a commercial partnership involving both the Liverpool Football Club and Richard Petty Motorsports.
Gillett and his Liverpool Football Club co-owner, Tom Hicks, confirmed recently that they had begun looking for outside investors, but told the BBC as recently as this week that the search was “at an early stage," and that there was “no agreement with any party." Those statements came just a day after Prince Faisal bin Fahad bin Abdullah Al Saud told reporters that he was negotiating to purchase half of the club for between 200 and 350 million British pounds. Gillett and Hicks purchased he team for 174 million pounds 2007.
Gillett recently announced plans to sell the Montreal Canadiens hockey club and their home arena, Montreal’s Molson Centre.
While it is not currently known how (or if) the deal will impact the day-to-day operations of Richard Petty Motorsports, the NASCAR Examiner website reports that today’s agreement is the first step in Gillett selling his stake in the team to Prince Faisal. The report states that the “due diligence” process is already underway, and could result in Gillett being entirely bought-out by the end of the 2009 calendar year. A press release announcing the partnership mentions no such sale; only the possibility of developing NASCAR-style racing circuit and Richard Petty racing schools in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Middle East.
Richard Petty Motorsports recently announced plans to merge with Yates Racing in time for the 2010 season, and the team declined to have a representative speak with Sirius Speedway today about this latest deal.