German car maker BMW has agreed to sell its Formula One team back to previous owner Peter Sauber – provided the team gets a place on the grid in the 2010 season.
BMW decided earlier this year to pull out of Formula One racing. The company said on Friday that a previous agreement to sell the team to Qadbak Investments has been annulled.
The team is based in Hinwil, not far from Zurich. The number of employees will be cut from 388 to about 250, BMW said in a statement. Further job reductions have not been ruled out.
BMW acquired a majority stake in Sauber in 2005, with Peter Sauber staying on in a technical capacity. Financial terms of the deal were not released.
Sauber said he was satisfied with the outcome, which guaranteed a future for the Hinwil factory he helped set up and a majority of jobs. He added that the team would have a chance of being competitive under new Formula One rules.
The competition's line-up will be finalised by the end of the month.
swissinfo.ch and agencies