- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 9, 2011

LONDON (AP) - Williams F1 revealed details of next month’s initial public offering, valuing what will become the first publicly traded Formula One team at $361.3 million.

The British outfit said shares of a 27.39 percent stake in the company will be priced between $32.72 and $39.54 on the Frankfort Stock Exchange beginning March 2.

“This IPO marks a new era in the history of our team,” principal and co-founder Frank Williams said. “Our future as an independent constructor is sustained by this listing, providing us the base from which to further grow.”

Williams opted to raise money publicly after losing a number of sponsors in 2010. He will remain the majority and controlling shareholder.

Formula One’s third-most successful team hasn’t won a championship since 1997, but says it made a profit in each of the past three years. It has secured sponsorship for the 2011 season starting with the March 13 Bahrain Grand Prix, where veteran Rubens Barrichello and newcomer Pastor Maldonado will drive.

“I have known Frank Williams for more than 40 years,” Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone said. “If I could buy shares in the company, I would.”

Only Ferrari and McLaren beat Williams‘ record of seven drivers’ titles, nine constructors’ championships and 113 victories in 565 races. But it hasn’t won a GP since 2004 in Brazil and finished sixth in the 2010 constructors’ championship.

“We have spent the past few years working to ensure a long-term future for the sport,” Williams chairman Adam Parr said. “Having accomplished this, the time is now right to ensure Williams‘ own future as an independent constructor.”

The shares going on sale March 2 will include a majority of the stake owned by Patrick Head, who founded the team with Williams in 1977.

“(Williams) has always run a very efficient organization,” Ecclestone said. “He has never wanted to be taken over by either a car manufacturer or a large company. He has supported Formula One in many ways most of his life, as has Patrick Head.

“We want more Franks and Patricks.”