Private investor group acquires long-term stake in Hockenheim-Ring GmbH

  • New era heralded by engagement of five medium-sized companies
  • The group plans to invest 250 million euros in, among other things, the construction of a hotel and a Motorworld, as well a technology location and mobility solutions at the Hockenheimring

Hockenheim, 25 April 2024.

The municipal council of the city of Hockenheim yesterday approved the entry of emodrom group holding GmbH plus affiliated private companies into the group of shareholders of Hockenheim-Ring GmbH. The new shareholder now holds a total of 74.99% of the shares. The city of Hockenheim (previously 94%) and Badischer Motorsport-Club e. V. (previously 6%) will remain shareholders with a total stake of 25.01% and will continue to play a key role in the further development of the Hockenheimring.

In addition to the partners already represented – namely the Timbra Group and the Assenheimer Group – the Motorworld Group, Paravan GmbH, together with Arnold NextG GmbH, and the Wirth Group have also come on board. Going forward, a total of five financially strong, predominantly cross-generational, medium-sized family businesses from southern Germany will be shareholders in Hockenheim-Ring GmbH. The investor group boasts a very high level of expertise in property and project development, proven competence in the racing and automotive sector, and a strong commitment to sustainability. It also plays a pioneering role in mobility innovation for people with and without disabilities and in the development of new vehicle concepts. The group’s genuine passion for the Hockenheimring is there for all to see. These are the best prerequisites for setting the course for a successful future and long-term international competitiveness.

“Yesterday’s decision by the city of Hockenheim represents an important step in the strategic reorientation of the Hockenheimring. We’re delighted that such trust has been placed in us and we’re proud to be part of this groundbreaking development,” said Tim Brauer, Managing Director of the emodrom group. “Since emodrom GmbH was founded in 2012, we have worked tirelessly on modernising and developing the Hockenheimring. The opening of the Porsche Experience Centre in 2019 marked an important milestone on this journey. The inclusion of emodrom group holding in the group of shareholders is a further step on our path towards further strengthening the Hockenheimring as a leading racetrack and implementing forward-looking projects.”

“I’m overjoyed that the municipal council has unanimously approved the signing of the contract for the further development of the Hockenheimring. All those involved have spent months working non-stop on the matter at hand and vision for the future. And above all, one thing has become clear: our new partners are here to stay! I firmly believe that together we will steer the Hockenheimring towards a bright future. I’m really looking forward to an exciting and positive collaboration,” says Lord Mayor Marcus Zeitler.

The Group plans to make investments totalling 250 million euros over the next five to ten years. In concrete terms, this initially includes the expansion of the Porsche Experience Centre, the construction of a hotel and a Motorworld as a real magnet of attraction for car enthusiasts. These construction projects are scheduled to take place over the next two to three years.

The future group of shareholders has full confidence in the existing management and is also committed to ensuring continuity in the operational running of the racetrack.

“We’ll continue to operate our portfolio with our tried-and-tested team as we know it, in other words: Public events with a focus on motorsport and concerts, track and venue rental and all other product areas – complemented by the fact that new business areas are being established across the board. We’ve witnessed overall positive development at the Ring over the last three years, but our lack of financial strength has meant that we’ve been unable to fully utilise existing revenue potential and still struggle to make the necessary major investments and maintenance on our own,” says Jochen Nerpel, Managing Director of Hockenheim-Ring GmbH, describing the future direction.

Fellow managing director Jorn Teske adds: “With the new investment, we expect to make gains, not only in terms of securing financial clout and implementing spectacular and impressive projects, but also in terms of expertise in areas previously untapped by us and unprecedented opportunities thanks to the extensive networks of our new partners. We firmly believe that the planned initiatives and building projects will create added value in the region and further strengthen our reputation as an international racing circuit.”

The green light for the first measures will be given immediately after the formal official and notarised confirmation. This will soon put the Hockenheimring at the centre of new infrastructure concepts, sustainable formats, and innovations in the field of new mobility ideas and testing, as well as alternative drives.

About the partners in emodrom group holding GmbH:

Assenheimer Group

The family-owned company Assenheimer, based in Heilbronn, has seven locations and around 500 employees, and is known under the Assenheimer-Mulfinger brand. It is one of the most renowned Mercedes-Benz passenger car and Daimler truck partners in Germany. Founded in 1911 and now managed by the fourth generation of the family, the Assenheimer Group is known as one of the first Mercedes-Benz dealerships. The company has deep motorsport roots borne out by its own racing team and the racing activities of one of its managing partners, Patrick Assenheimer.  //

Timbra Group

The TIMBRA group, founded and managed by Tim Brauer, a lawyer from Worms, is responsible for the development, construction and revitalisation of commercial properties, as well as the development of residential and commercial areas throughout Germany. The TIMBRA group also plans and implements projects relating to sustainability and renewable energies, such as battery storage power plants and photovoltaic systems. Tim Brauer has been working in a managerial role for the emodrom group at the Hockenheimring since 2016, and was largely responsible for the project planning and construction of the Porsche Experience Centre.

Motorworld Group

To find the roots of the Dünkel Holding group of companies, you need to go back to the Dünkel gravel plants founded in Schemmerhofen near Biberach in 1930. The third and fourth generation of the company is continuing the successful tradition, expanding the entrepreneurial activities significantly since then. For several years now, the portfolio has included the development of innovative and valuable property projects, not to mention the construction and operation of renewable energy production facilities. With the Motorworld Group, founder Andreas Dünkel also runs worlds of experience dedicated to mobile passion. With over 40 of the most valuable and exclusive vehicle brands, the Motorworld Group, now represented at eight locations, is regarded as the world’s largest brand-independent classic and sports car centre.

Paravan GmbH with Arnold NextG GmbH

Roland Arnold founded his company over 25 years ago with the goal of giving disabled people their mobility back. Since then, the mobility pioneer and global market leader in vehicle conversions for the disabled has been building customised vehicles for people with disabilities in the Swabian town of Aichelau. The first road-legal drive-by-wire technology “Space Drive” emerged from the field of mobility for the disabled. Not only does it give these people the chance to lead an independent life, it also represents a key technology for autonomous driving.

Under the name Arnold NextG GmbH and inspired by their father’s entrepreneurial spirit, sons Kevin and Luca are implementing safety-by-wire® technology for the biggest vehicle revolution – autonomous driving. The multi-redundant NX NextMotion central control unit enables fail-safe and customised implementation, independent of the vehicle platform and unique worldwide. The Hockenheimring is regarded as the ideal test and development site for developing these technologies further under the toughest and most reproducible conditions up to large-scale production: Validation of teleoperation, platooning and remote solutions. The Hockenheimring offers a unique development and networking platform for customers such as OEMs, suppliers, technology companies and tyre manufacturers. Innovative vehicle concepts and vehicle architectures also play an important part in reducing CO2 emissions. //

Wirth Group

Founded in 1997 by Hans Wirth in Waghäusel, the Wirth Group focuses on property portfolios, renewable energies and strategic investments. It is successfully represented in various national and international industries and sectors, and holds investments in companies in both Europe and the USA. Today, the group is headed up by brothers Markus and Andreas Wirth. It has a direct link to motorsport in general and to the Hockenheimring in particular, not least thanks to Andreas Wirth’s active career in motorsports, where he competed successfully in many international series.

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