Germany's famed Nuerburgring race track sold to auto parts maker

BERLIN (Bloomberg) -- The Nuerburgring, the German race track known as Green Hell for its challenging Formula One course, was sold to Capricorn Group, an auto parts maker based in Dusseldorf.

The transaction values the 379-hectare (937-acre) property at more than 100 million euros ($139 million), including 25 million euros to be spent further developing the site, lawyers managing the insolvency of owner Nuerburgring GmbH said.

The site was put up for sale last year after its owners failed to pay loans taken out to build hotels and a rollercoaster.

"The creditor committee had two very good offers and in the end decided on the offer with the highest price and good prospects for the region," insolvency lawyer Jens Lieser said in the statement.

The Nuerburgring, Germany's most famous race circuit, was built in 1927 and has hosted at least 30 Formula One races, including a 1976 event where Austrian driver Niki Lauda's car burned while he was trapped inside.

The track's owner and operator filed for insolvency protection in 2012.

Capricorn's acquisition includes the 21-kilometer (13-mile) North Loop and newer 5-kilometer Grand Prix circuit.

Last year, Hyundai Motor Co. built a 4.4 million-euro research center at the Nuerburgring with direct access to the tree-lined track, which was dubbed Green Hell by driver Jackie Stewart.

German auto club ADAC bid about 100 million euros for the property, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported in November.

Formula One Management CEO Bernie Ecclestone also submitted a bid, WirtschaftsWoche reported in January.

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